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Patient-centred care delivers better outcomes at lower costs

Patient-centred care delivers better outcomes at lower costs

General practice must deliver patient-centred care to drive change, a Trust chair has said
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General practice must deliver patient-centred care to drive change, an NHS Trust chair has said. 

Speaking at a Cambridge Health Network event, healthcare leaders discussed the role of GPs in the future primary care system.

Mike Bell, Croydon Health Services NHS trust chair, said that ‘nothing has been done’ to engage patients since the Wanless report.

Published in 2002, the report assessed factors likely to affect the NHS ability to deliver a high-quality health service by 2022.

Patients at the heart of NHS

It said that ‘patients should be at the heart of the NHS at the cost of higher taxations’.

But delegates said the current model undermines patients as GPs paternalise and medicalise them and don’t listen to their preferences to meet their needs.

Martin Marshall, Royal Community General Practitioners (RCGP) vice president for external affairs, said; ‘We have built an NHS around a strong medical model, which is expensive and sometimes dangerous.

‘However, only 20% of the population can be treated with such model, the majority needing social prescribing.’

Collaborating with authorities

The leaders believe that changes can be done through collaboration and greater referring.

Sir Cyril Chantler,from the Complex Primary Care Practice Programme, argued that if no progress has been made in the past 30 years, it is because the NHS has never engaged with the local government, ‘responsible for social care’. 

Mr Bell agreed: ‘Local authorities are the keys because they own places and understand their population in addressing issues from early education and planning, among others.’

If the introduction of regulations has helped address some of the poorest performances in general practice over the past 20 years, it has left 93% of practices with an amount of bureaucracy that makes it difficult for GPs to do their day-to-day job.

Sir Jonathan Asbridge, clinical director of Healthcare at Home, said: ‘It’s time for all of us to stand up and speak up.

‘We must challenge the state and be very clear about everybody's rights to have access to the care they need otherwise we won’t get anywhere.’

The event comes after Bedfordshire Local Medical Committee (LMC) put a motion forward, calling for the development of a private model of general practice as ‘a number of GPs feel that they can no longer operate within the NHS’.

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