Collaboration, technology and mixing skills: the future for GPs in B&NES

The 2016 GP Patient Survey results confirm that residents of Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES) are consistently pleased with the experience they receive at their GP surgery.  However, mounting pressures on GPs’ time and resources means that the current model of general practice will need to change to keep up with the rising demand.

NHS England published the General Practice Forward View in April 2016, which outlines their plans to ‘stabilise and transform general practice’.

The GP Forward View commits to a 14 per cent increase in funding for general practice by 2021, new initiatives to train, recruit and retain more GPs, and a resilience programme to support GPs experiencing burnout and stress because of their workload.

It also outlines proposals to allow up to 100 per cent reimbursement for development of GP premises, plus further investment in technological innovation that will allow GPs and patients to do more online.

In May 2016, we published our draft Statement of Intent, which outlines the vision for general practice in B&NES. The Statement reflects views gathered from engagement with practices and the public across the region, while bearing in mind the national priorities.

Our goal is to provide a fully integrated health and care service in the community, linking general practice and community services together through our your care, your way review with Bath & North East Somerset Council. By 2020, there will be more out-of-hospital services, groups of practices will be working together to serve larger populations and routine appointments, telephone and e-consultations will be more easily available during evenings and weekends.

We also plan to support the general practice workforce so clinicians can specialise in their areas of interest and increase the number of nurse practitioners and practice pharmacists to reduce GP workload. Technology will play a pivotal role in all of our aims, meeting patients’ needs by giving them access to medical records, as well as enabling new and innovative systems that allow pa tient records to be shared between GP surgeries, subject to patient consent.

If you have any suggestions, feedback or comments about general practice in B&NES, or would like to hear more about our plans, please come to our Annual General Meeting on Thursday 29 September at Somerdale Pavilion in Keynsham. Check our website for more details over the coming weeks or click here to book your place.