AS A family doctor, I know how vital GP surgeries are to the communities we serve and to a wide range of patients, from young children to the elderly living with multiple long-term conditions, and carers.
But I also know how challenging providing that care can often be.
That’s why today’s contract deal is such a landmark moment. It’s good for patients, good for GPs and good for the taxpayers who fund the NHS.
The NHS Long Term Plan pledged that funding for primary medical and community care will receive a £4.5billion annual boost by 2023, helping us help our patients over the next five years.
The package will see teams bolstered with more nurses, mental health workers and other professionals, so they can offer more of the services people want locally.
It will help practices to be more proactive in improving the health of their communities, and the quality of
care provided to some of our most vulnerable patients.
What that means for patients is improved access to high quality care when they need it, with more appointments available, including evenings and at weekends, in their home, or over the phone and online.
Building on the step-change this offers, support for GPs will free up time for longer consultations which could include early diagnosis of major conditions such as cancer and heart disease.
For 70 years, primary care has been the bedrock of the NHS. This agreement provides an even stronger foundation for the future.