Patients have had the right to choose a GP since 1948. Yet for most of us, this right is little more than hypothetical: GP surgeries with closed lists, restrictions regarding where we can register and GP surgeries offering almost identical services means even those of us lucky enough to have a choice of GP find we have very little to choose between.
In this report, Professor Paul Corrigan, former Special Adviser to the Secretary of State for Health, explains why our primary care sector has reached this point and what reforms the Government should implement to address the problem.
In the first chapter, Professor Corrigan explains why patient demand must be organised more effectively to trigger new and different forms of primary care, and how supply must be better organised to meet this demand. He discusses what implications this will have for the future role of the PCT.
The second chapter goes on to explore how, in a system of patient choice, primary care providers might fail and what the Government should do to deal with them. Finally, the third chapter discusses the need for more information to help patients make informed choices in primary care; who will provide this information and whether additional guidance, perhaps in the form of Patient Care Advisers, is a justifiable cost to help the hardest to reach groups in society exercise their right to choice.