Preserving the role of the generalist is to be a top priority for the Royal College of General Practitioners.
Dr Clare Gerada, new Chair of the RCGP outlined eight key priorities for her tenure.
In her first week as chair her top three priorities for patient care 2011-2014 include: preserving the role of the generalist, extending the training of GPs from three to five years and encouraging leadership in general practice.
The RCGP’s new Centre for Commissioning, which was announced in October and will be launched in December 2010, will be central to ‘supporting the delivery of health services for excellent patient care’. The Centre is a response to the opportunities of the NHS reforms in England, and aims to help GPs lead both the development of community based services and the effective use of commissioning to provide better, integrated care.
Dr Gerada said: “I fully support placing clinicians at the centre of commissioning decisions; general practitioners have been calling for this for more than ten years, and now we have the opportunity to make real decisions about the health care we provide for our patients.
“We need to meet the challenges of change while keeping patients’ needs and concerns at the heart of all we do. The College is looking forward to working constructively with the Department of Health, the Royal Colleges, patient groups and other stakeholders to help shape the reforms to meet the needs of patients, the public and the NHS.”
Other priorities for the new Chair include promoting healthy living and reducing social and health inequalities, with a particular focus on preventing domestic violence, improving sexual health, reducing harm from substance misuse and alcohol and tackling the harm caused by gambling and other non-drug addictions; supporting people with mental health issues; and carrying forward the College’s extensive international work.