The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has revealed its plans for the next ten years as part of its vision for the future.
It has put forward a series of targets and proposals for the next decade, including GPs commissioning 24/7 out-of-hours care and making greater use of social media in an effort to better connect with patients.
The 2022 GP - A Vision for General Practice in the future NHS clarifies the position of the college regarding the recent out-of-hours care debate, which has proved controversial within the healthcare sector.
It has faced criticism from those in GP jobs for appearing to endorse practitioners taking on around-the-clock supervision responsibilities for the five per cent of most vulnerable patients.
However, the report represents a more detailed explanation of the RCGP's stance on the debate.
It recommends that GPs work together across federations to commission 24/7 services for patients with complex comorbidities, as well as promoting integration within GP contracts and arguing that a ten per cent increase in GP funding should be instated.
The report said: "This does not mean a requirement for GPs to provide direct patient-to-doctor access out of hours: it is about the need to reshape services to improve the oversight and management of transitions in care and coordination of care between the practice team and others, on a 24/7 basis, involving a wide range of professions (medical, nursing, pharmacy and social care)."
Within the document it also emphasised the need to embrace technology within communication methods, which includes holding remote consultations in order to meet growing demand and increased complexity of care.
The report added that face-to-face consultation will no longer be accepted as the default way to communicate with GPs by people of the younger generation in a decade's time and so it may be necessary to adopt online, social media and mobile consultation methods.
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