The Fuller Stocktake One Year On


In October we took a look at how primary care has evolved in the last year since Claire Fuller presented her report setting out how primary care should be organised and managed to improve access to patients, ensure high quality care and focus on prevention.

We were joined by four high profile speakers:

Prof. Mike Holmes, GP Partner of Haxby Group, York
Sue Symington, Chair of Humber and North Yorkshire ICS
Jonty Heaversedge, GP and Cinical Chair of South East London ICB
Murray Ellender, GP, CEO and Co-Founder of eConsult

The discussion was wide ranging focusing on both successes (developed over many years) and ongoing challenges. Key points made were:

  • Primary care matters – high quality primary care results in significantly lower rates of A&E attendances and emergency admissions
  • There are some great success stories out there – multidisciplinary teams providing increased access and leveraging GPs, development of large partnerships able to offer a wide range of services with increased opening hours, the adoption of technology to significantly improve access
  • At the same time there remains a real need to expand from this small number of success stories to a much larger footprint 
  • This could be done by a much greater focus on transformation, on adopting digital tools, providing robust operational management, ensuring strong leadership – this will need a clearer narrative, for example moving the focus away from more buildings, more staff to instead more technology
  • It will also require substantial investment – putting money into new models of primary care and digital tools rather than continually increasing spending on acute hospital beds
  • Letting a thousand flowers bloom sounds ok until you have a multiplicity of GP systems that don’t ‘talk’ to each other
  • The renegotiated GP contract will clearly be important to this whole discussion
  • Trust between the various new organisations on the ground is critical and must almost be ‘practised’ by close working together

Many thanks to Acacium Group for hosting the event.

Photos by Mohammed Al-Ubayadli and Ben Richardson.