Changing the rules of the game to future-proof general practice

Dr Helen Davies warns of the dangers of not aligning incentives when it comes to government’s primary care reforms in Digital Health. She said:

GPs are leaving the NHS faster than they can be recruited, with practitioners choosing early retirement and fewer people wanting to enter general practice. Our under-resourced workforce, increasing demand on services, backlog from covid and an ageing population, means primary care is at breaking point. Without support and the right incentives to enable general practice to take its place in the new ICS landscape, there is a risk of losing what the profession can offer as it continues to irretrievably bleed out.

Primary care is well placed to drive transformation – however, this cannot be in addition to the crippling existing workload. We need to move away from the traditional focus on rewards for delivery to more population-based outcomes for GPs to be able to allocate skills appropriately, provide tailored care to patients and make better use of technology.

The intelligent adoption of technology is offering out-of-the-box transformation of healthcare, with visible linked data enabling us to prioritise and personalise care like never before. We can manage our workload and smooth the patient journey via powerful enablers like digital triage and care navigation, and we have the potential for greater connectivity and dialogue with our patients via consultation platforms.

The real-time analysis of periods of high demand and most common requests from patients also enables the surgeries to plan their workforce accordingly and to share resources and provide care at scale.

It is heartening to hear government’s ambition to encourage technology adoption – helping address service demand – but all options must be considered, including sharing what is working well and implementing change quickly.

Success stories need to be celebrated, and this best practice baked into ICS plans. And government needs to support service providers in scaling up these solutions across an ICS, including changing the “rules of the game”.

Read the full article here: Changing the rules of the game to future proof general practice (