The recommendations, formed after visits to practices, meetings and consultation responses over the past eight months, call for reduced risk for partners, greater GP and practice staff numbers, and an expansion in the range of services available in and around general practice.
Key recommendations from the report:
1. There are significant opportunities that should be taken forward to reduce the personal risk and unlimited liability currently associated with GP partnerships.
2. The number of general practitioners who work in practices, and in roles that support the delivery of direct patient care, should be increased and funded.
3. The capacity and range of healthcare professionals available to support patients in the community should be increased, through services embedded in partnership with general practice.
4. Medical training should be refocused to increase the time spent in general practice, to develop a better understanding of the strengths and opportunities of primary care partnerships and how they fit into the wider health system.
5. Primary Care Networks (PCNs) should be established and should operate in a way that makes constituent practices more sustainable and enables partners to address workload and safe working capacity, while continuing to support continuity of high quality, personalised, holistic care.
6. General practice must have a strong, consistent and fully representative voice at system level.
7. There are opportunities that should be taken to enable practices to use resources more efficiently by ensuring access to both essential IT equipment and innovative digital services.
The review concludes that 'significant additional resources are required, which must go to the practices and localities that develop services and the workforce needed to manage demand.'
'Doing nothing cannot be an option. The consequences would be clear - the widening of health inequalities, with areas of the country where general practice will struggle to continue, the inevitable rise in pressure and costs in the rest of the health and care system, worsening clinical outcomes, and falling patient trust in the NHS.'
The report has been sent to the Government and NHS England for response. The LMC will be monitoring developments closely.
Download the full report from Gov.uk.