An independent inquiry has been set up by the Royal College of General Practitioners to look at how the NHS can best provide care for patients at a time of constrained resources, to meet the needs of the rapidly increasing number of patients with multiple long term conditions.
The inquiry is to be chaired by Mike Farrar, the former NHS Confederation Chief Executive and former Head of Primary Care at the Department of Health, and will explore how to find cost effective solutions to the medical, social and financial challenges posed by rising levels of multi-morbidity within society.
The inquiry, hosted by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), will be entitled the Inquiry into Patient-Centred Care in the Twenty-First Century.
Farrar will lead a panel of twelve experts in NHS care, from organisations including the National Association for Patient Participation, Royal College of Physicians, NHS Confederation, LloydsPharmacy, and the RCGP. It will look at the role of general practice within the context of primary, community and social care services.
In order to do this, it will assess three key questions:
- How do models of NHS care need to change to deliver better patient outcomes, as cost effectively as possible, for the growing number of people living with multiple long-term conditions?
- What does this mean for the way in which NHS resources are deployed across health economies in a financially constrained environment?
- How can the role of general practice best be developed to support the new models of care required and what policy levers and financial mechanisms should be put in place to deliver these at the scale and pace needed?
The inquiry is calling for written evidence from interested organisations and individuals, to help inform the proceedings, to be submitted by 16 July.
The inquiry will hold three seminars, during July and August, at which patients, health professionals and other relevant experts will be consulted. It is hoped that the initial findings of the inquiry will be released in September.
RCGP Chair Dr Maureen Baker said: “The inquiry provides us with a fantastic opportunity to look at the efficacy of general practice at a time of increasing demand and constrained resources, and to make recommendations about what needs to change for us to continue to deliver high standards of patient care.
Full details of the inquiry can be found here.