The outgoing chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners has indicated her belief that implementing the General Practice Forward View should be the top priority of healthcare professionals.
Dr Maureen Baker was speaking at a King’s Fund conference related to new models of general practice.
The esteemed health service figure indicated that this has been her major focus over the last six months, and will also be the top priority of her successor Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard.
Stokes-Lampard takes over the very prestigious position of chair in six months’ time.
Meanwhile, Baker reiterated the endorsement of the Royal College for the document produced by NHS England.
Baker told assembled delegates that the plan contained in the document would be central to the future of the NHS.
“We do have our logo on the front cover which means that we believe, in RCGP, that this is the right plan for general practice. Our job now, and I suggest everyone’s job, is to ensure that what’s pledged in the forward view is delivered and that’s been my top priority in the last six months of my chairmanship and I know it’s the top priority of the incoming chair, my successor, Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard”.
Baker also offered her and the RCGP’s backing to the NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs).
These environment-driven documents are currently being finalised across 44 English regions.
“STPs are due to submit their plans on Friday. We do support the approach. We do think the NHS needs to get together at local level to decide how their going to best spend their funds for their populations over the next few years. Just to point out to you.The STPs have been recommended that they spend 15-20% of their transformation and sustainability fund, that’s a bit of leeway but at least 15%, that is another funding stream that we will be closely monitoring”.
Baker has already warned that NHS trusts’ funding could be hit by the addressing of financial deficit in the remainder of the decade.
And despite standing down, the healthcare chief was adamant that the RCGP would support surgeries across the country in their quest for adequate funding.
“We will be using our ambassadors and our members. Once the STP plans are published we will be checking to see: Does this sound right to you? Are you going to get the support you need? Is the funding that’s committed going to be there? And if it’s not, we’ll be straight back to NHS England, to the minister in the department saying, this is what you said, this is what you committed, this is what we’re hearing – it needs to be addressed”.
Baker worked as a general practitioner in Lincoln from 1985−2000.