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New GP contract heralds return of ‘proper doctors’

A new contract has been agreed for GP’s between the Department of Health and the British Medical Association (BMA) will see the return of “proper family doctors”, responsible for round the clock care and with dedicated help for the elderly.
Under the contract, four million elderly patients and those with complex conditions will be given a named GP, who will be personally accountable for their care at all times, with doctors having to trawl through their register to identify the frailest 2% of patients.  GP’s will also now be personally responsible for the care of all patients aged 75 and over, around the clock, regardless of who delivers it. The aim is to create a much more proactive service whereby the needs of the patient, from home adaptations to intensive nursing support, are met much more quickly, as well as providing greater continuity of care for those patients who visit GP’s the most.
The system of GP pay being dictated by targets will also be scrapped, with more than one third of the indicators got rid of. The BMA have said this will allow thousands of GP’s to attend to their patients, instead of their computer screens.
Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt has hailed the new contract for bringing back the “old fashioned family doctor” and claimed it will bring to an end the current “box tickling culture”, a move that he claimed was vital in ending the “huge pressure on our A&E departments” caused by Labour’s 2004 GP contract.
The Patients Association welcomes the new GP contract and the step towards putting the patient at the centre. Treating people safely, especially the elderly and vulnerable, is vital.

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