The growing number of patients requiring the services of staff in NHS GP jobs will be examined in a new review of operational best practice launched by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).
An independent inquiry is being set up by the organisation to look at new ways of providing improved care for the rapidly increasing number of patients with multiple long-term conditions, at a time when efficiency gains and spending reductions are also considered key objectives.
It will assess three key considerations - the need for changes to models of NHS care to cost-effectively deliver better patient outcomes, the deployment of resources within the health service, and the role of general practice in supporting new models of care.
The inquiry is to be chaired by Mike Farrar, the former NHS Confederation chief executive and former head of primary care at the Department of Health, who will lead a panel of twelve experts to scrutinise how GPs operate within the context of primary, community and social care services.
Written evidence from interested organisations and individuals will be submitted between now and July 16th 2014, with patients, health professionals and other relevant experts to be consulted during three seminars in July and August.
It is hoped that the initial findings of the inquiry will be released in September and will be useful in informing the future development of innovative NHS care models.
RCGP chair Dr Maureen Baker said: "The inquiry provides us with an fantastic opportunity to look at the efficacy of general practice at a time of increasing demand and constrained resources, and to make recommendations about what needs to change for us to continue to deliver high standards of patient care."
This project has been launched by the RCGP at a time when it is calling for general practice to receive 11 percent of the overall NHS budget by 2017, in order to help hire new staff and expand services.
Since the government is keen for the availability of seven-day surgery opening hours to be expanded and for GPs to play a greater role in coordinating care, the RCGP believes additional funding for the sector is a priority step.
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