For the first time, a stream of tweets was sent from this Council meeting by staff observers using the hashtag #RCGPCouncil. This builds on the #OpenRCGP transparency policy which I and others brought to Council and which was approved in February.
There was discussion of this NHS England document, described as a statement of ambition, developed in partnership with RCGP and HEE, which sets out investment and support for General Practice growing over the next 5 years. RCGP is establishing a network of 22 GP Forward View Ambassadors to monitor Sustainability and Tranformation Plans locally and ensure delivery of GP Forward View.
I urged RCGP to work in collaboration with GPC/BMA in subsequent negotiations. I suggested that RCGP has a role in supporting practices in securing the promised funding.
When I asked where the funding had come from to support GP Forward View Ambassadors, the answer was from renegotiation of the mortgage on RCGP headquarters.
Council endorsed a vision of person-centred care planning at the heart of the management of long-term conditions in General Practice.
I stressed the importance of considering how to free GP time in order to be able to undertake care planning and suggested that support be developed within GP IT systems to make this process as time efficient as possible.
I reiterated my concerns that a GP referral will become de facto an essential criterion before vulnerable citizens in fuel poverty receive the help they need and that other agencies such as social services will then abdicate their responsibility to identify the vulnerable.
I predicted that there will be opportunity costs when those that could have been identified by others come specifically to a GP for referral to address their social needs, diverting GP time from those with healthcare needs.
I requested that the pilot study monitor how many patients specifically request referral from their GP regarding fuel poverty, to try to give some idea as to the increased demand this process places upon GPs.