New GP Contract Letter

Having had a few days to digest the new GP contract letter, one of the potentially interesting ideas is the one where non-GPs will be allowed to work in general practice. While some of my profession will see this as a threat to the status of a GP and some will see it as a way of NHS trusts running GP surgeries to fill gaps with existing staff – there are interesting possibilities both that might help practices and perhaps the system at large.

We have embraced the MSK first contract practitioner without feeling threatened – Could we employ a surgeon to do more complicated operations in primary care (need to think through the estates issues here).

I could easily see roles for gynae, urology, cardiology, care of the elderly perhaps even neurology non-consultant grades doing clinics in primary care.
Trying to reduce referrals, and drive the left shift.

Should ICBs actually encourage this with funding to trusts to send out these staff to work with PCNs/Places? Should the royal colleges plan to have some of their juniors training be in primary care to get a feel of disease at an earlier stage. A long time ago a medical consultant I worked for – had done a year as a GP during his training and he always claimed it was a great learning experience.

We may need to redefine the role of GPs – Leave GPs to see the undifferentiated and lead the management of care perhaps in a more direct way than losing patients into the abyss that is a hospital?