General Practice in the UK is facing a massive increase in demand for services. We’re managing increasingly complex cases within the community, but at the same time public demand on the health service is also changing. People are living longer, but society appears to have more health anxiety these days and people’s threshold for seeking help is much lower.
Therefore managing demand and having the capacity to respond is really challenging. We have to plan the proactive care needed for people with long-term conditions, or people who are house-bound or vulnerable, whilst being under pressure to deal with the upfront demand.
General practice has a big role to play in using person-centered approaches and trying to upskill people in how they deal with their own health. Medwyn Surgery has been very successful in developing a fully engaged population who are able to live healthier lives. We wish to continue this good work but GPs can’t do everything and it’s one of the challenges for general practice to know where you can deliver the best value.
We have to redefine who does what. How do we decide if someone should see a GP or a nurse practitioner? Or a pharmacist, a physio, a health care assistant, a health coach, a life navigator? There’s a place for all these roles now. Currently, what is proposed by NHS England is for individual practices to work in a federation of practices. The paradigm of your GP doing everything for you is changed.