BMA launches consultation on how to improve GP services

By Sam Collins
12:00 AM

The GPs Committee (GPC) of the British Medical Association (BMA) is calling on grassroots family doctors and patients to help shape future GP services, with a particular emphasis on IT.

GP leaders published a consultation to encourage debate among the profession and patients about what they like about their practice and where improvements could be made.

Laurence Buckman, MD, Chairman of the BMA's GPs Committee, said: "We want to gather examples of good and innovative practice across all areas of service, such as how practices use telephony systems, their use of the internet for repeat prescription ordering or appointment booking, or how they have improved communication between practices and their patients.

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"Ultimately we want to make sure general practice is as responsive to patients as it is possible to be," Buckman said.

The document asks GPs and patients to get together to discuss aspects of service that could be improved and what, if anything, prevents them from making improvements.

The GPC hopes to use the results of the consultation to inform discussions with UK governments.

Buckman said, "This is an area where GPs and patients should be equal partners.

"Most practices are already very good at establishing what their patients need and provide a high-quality service, but improvements can always be made.

"With infinite resources it would be easy, but new funding is often constrained. There are, however, simple changes that can be made which can have a big impact on a patient's experience."

The consultation runs until 1 May 2009.

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