PROFESSOR Mike Holmes, of York-based primary care provider Nimbuscare, said in his latest column for The Press that he was pleased with the recent report on the future of general practice, but said GPs continued to be in crisis.

In a week full of political upheaval and sensational front-page news, an important message about the future of general practice went largely unnoticed.

This was the long-awaited report of the Health and Social Care Committee that I was asked to deliver earlier this year. I focused on the importance of maintaining the partnership model of general practice, which I believe is a real strength. Most GP practices operate as ‘independent contractors’ with partners who are required to run the practice and have contracts with the NHS. The publication of the report was also important for York in that our local MP Rachel Maskell led the launch of the report as a committee member.

Overall, the report’s findings and recommendations were sound and reasonable. It was good to hear the acknowledgment that general practice is in crisis. We have been asking for more investment and support in recruitment for some time – we just don’t have enough therapists. The report explains that “the rubber band snapped after years of pressure” – a great analogy. It’s nice to feel that we were heard.

The main reason for this is that there simply aren’t enough GPs to meet the ever-increasing demands on our services, and the report acknowledges this. We see this every day in our GP offices when patients show frustration at having to wait longer than we would like to see us for a routine appointment. We also see it through our employees who are under a lot of pressure, especially those on the front lines as receptionists. We are struggling to recruit the right people as the pressure on this role increases.

So while we await more details on how the report’s recommendations can be taken forward, Nimbuscare members continue to make an impact nationally. As a group, we have more power to influence the national agenda, and our contribution to the report was encouraging. It is good that our voice is being heard, although we will wait to see if the current government can stabilize itself to implement the findings of the report.

We are proactive, trying to develop the model and really leading the way in integrating our health, care, voluntary and community sectors.

Nimbuscare’s vision is to support improvements in population health and patient experience by working together across the health and care system

Our aim is to work together to maintain the sustainability of general practice; lead the reconstruction of health and care; to improve the quality of health care through integrated primary health care, supporting local populations, local stakeholders and meeting local needs. We aim to work locally, support regionally and have impact nationally.

We are already seeing this as we invest in our community care centers to provide health, care and voluntary services to local people. We work with health and care authorities, businesses, councils, schools, universities and colleges and the public sector to make it all happen. We hope people see this and will continue to work with us in a positive way to make it happen. I believe that by working together, we can and will make the changes and improvements that our patients deserve.—prof-holmes-pleased-gp-report/?ref=rss