Parliamentary briefing
4 Nov 2014

Our policy briefing provides an evidence-based overview of the current state of general practice in England, and offers policy-makers some potential solutions.


As part of our role to deliver evidence to support better health policy, the Nuffield Trust aims to clearly set out the relevant facts as Britain’s political parties prepare for the 2015 General Election and beyond. We are producing a series of policy briefings on the issues and challenges that are critical to the longer‑term success of the health and social care system - the issues any Government after 2015 will need to prioritise.

Is General Practice in Crisis? by Mark Dayan, Sandeepa Arora, Rebecca Rosen and Natasha Curry is the first policy briefing in our series. It provides an evidence-based overview of the current state of general practice in England, and offers some potential solutions. It examines demand for GP services, the GP workforce, funding, and standards of access and patient care. It then presents four ideas to help solve the problems facing general practice – and the wider NHS. 

Many GPs are already joining up to build successful with other healthcare professionals in their area. This doesn’t mean that the familiarity of local practices will be lost or that GPs will vanish from rural areas. Working in bigger, better organised groups will help to keep that important neighbourhood presence going through tough times. But it will need politicians to give GPs time and support as they make the switch to scaled-up general practice fit for the future. Mark Dayan, Nuffield Trust, lead author

Alongside our policy briefings, we are also regularly surveying a panel of 100 health and social care leaders in England for their views on a range of issues, including the state of the NHS and social care system, and what they believe should be the priority areas for reform during the next Parliament. As we approach the election these survey results will provide unique insights for policy-makers into the views of senior leaders in health and social care, who are often not able to speak out individually. 


An amendment has been made on p7 of this report, to make clear that some practices will see a repeated funding drop of £3 per patient each year as the Minimum Practice Income Guarantee is withdrawn.

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