The Future of General Practice – consultation response

We responded to a questionnaire the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) issued in 2018 to make the case for integration between primary care and the child health service.

The RCGP issued a questionnaire to understand what is needed to help shape general practice; to influence the future of patient care, clinicals standards and the GP workforce.

Our response

  • GPs are situated within the heart of communities and often have a thorough understanding of the physical, mental health, social and vocational care needs of its patients. It is important that this knowledge is utilised within strategic planning for health services.
  • Children are estimated to make up around 40% of a typical GPs workload though only around one in three GPs in the UK have postgraduate specialist paediatric training, with little undergraduate exposure to paediatrics.
  • Quality indicators, such as the Quality and Outcomes Framework, excludes children meaning GP practices are not incentivised to undertake preventative and public health activities that optimise the limited resource available to children and young people.
  • The lack of interoperable information systems often means health professionals seeing children do not have timely access to the child’s shared electronic health record.

Our recommendations

  • NHS England must develop a healthcare strategy that puts children and young people at the centre of decision making, and put above competing cultures, systems and processes.
  • The integration of care around the needs of children and young people is crucial to improving their health services and outcomes.
  • Children must be included in the systems and frameworks that incentivise improvements in preventing and managing their health needs.
  • GP practices must use RCPCH Facing the Future: Together for child health standards to plan, deliver and evaluate services to ensure high-quality diagnosis is available early in the pathway, and so that good connectivity between primary and secondary care is optimised.

We respond to a wide range of consultations to ensure that the College’s position, and ultimately children’s health, is represented Members can get involved in current consultations by contacting the Health Policy team: