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GP leader speaks out for family doctors

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Uploaded on Apr 7, 2011

GPs have been sidelined from the management of the NHS. The time for them to lead in partnership with high quality managers has arrived.

That is the view of Birmingham GP and former chair of council of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Professor Steve Field, CBE.

He says: "We're close to the patient and feel the same hurt if they experience difficulties with the system. I think the new proposals for GPs to lead on commissioning are sound."

He stresses the importance of offering patients more choice in which GP surgery they register with and a greater say in the treatment pathways available in hospitals.

In a wide ranging interview with NHS local Prof Field, a partner in the Bellvue practice in inner-city Birmingham, also voices his opinion on the current system for GP specialty training.

While acknowledging that GP training has improved and has always run ahead of hospital training, the breadth of the new GP training curriculum means that training should take place over a longer, five year period.

He says: "The problem is - and it is a disgrace - we only have three years training."

Prof Field led the RCGP through Lord Darzi's Review of the NHS, and is a keen supporter of the 'federated' model of patient care - with GP practices working together to provide more services for patients in their local NHS.

He is the former chair of the RCGP Education Network and the College's radical review of GP training which led to the introduction of the first ever training curriculum for GPs in 2007.

A practising GP at the Bellevue Medical Centre in inner-city Birmingham, Professor Field is Honorary Professor of Medical Education, University of Warwick, and Honorary Professor in the School of Medicine, University of Birmingham.

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