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Fairer Funding Model Needed for UK General Practice

In an article published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, I discuss some of the current challenges facing general practitioners in the UK, such as rising workload, increasingly complex patients, and reductions in budgets. In the article, I also discuss options for tackling these challenges. These include a fairer funding model for general practice that links patients needs and practices' workloads more closely to funding. Other options discussed in the article include the creation of practice federations or 'super partnerships' and the transfer of GPs from their current independent contractor status to becoming NHS employees on similar terms to other senior doctors working for the NHS. Many GPs (including my own colleagues in South London) are struggling to manage their workload with their current practice budgets; and this could have serious implications for patients, the public and the NHS. We do therefore need a serious debate about the future of primary care in the UK, both amongst the profession, and with the public, politicians and NHS managers. Primary care should be the foundation of any health system, and a strong primary care sector is essential for providing the equitable, accessible, cost-effective, high-quality clinical services that will health patients' needs and lead to improved health outcomes.

The article was covered by a number of websites:
http://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/2013/sep/20/today-in-healthcare-20-september
http://www.nationalhealthexecutive.com/Service-Reconfiguration/gps-should-become-nhs-employees
http://www.managementinpractice.com/editors-pick/gps-should-give-independent-status
http://bma.org.uk/news-views-analysis/news/2013/september/nhs-employees-proposal-rejected-by-gps
http://www.news-medical.net/news/20130920/GPs-urged-to-give-up-independent-contractor-status-become-NHS-employees.aspx
http://www.onmedica.com/newsarticle.aspx?id=0c6280f5-e82b-4211-93a1-12bf7bd269d5
http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_20-9-2013-16-37-3
http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/news/finance-and-practice-life-news/gps-should-lose-independent-contractor-status-suggests-leading-gp-academic/20004373.article#.UkNTQsZwrmc
http://www.myscience.cc/wire/new_call_for_gps_to_relinquish_independent_contractor_status-2013-imperial
http://www.nationalhealthexecutive.com/News/gps-should-become-nhs-employees
http://www.bioportfolio.com/news/article/1653331/GPs-urged-to-give-up-independent-contractor-status-become-NHS-employees.html
http://careers.bmj.com/careers/advice/view-article.html?id=20014682

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