Last reviewed 15 July 2020

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has called for a move to a "higher trust" model and a permanent reduction in red tape and bureaucracy that gives GPs more time to deliver patient care and manage the aftermath of Covid-19 at a community level.

The RCGP's recently published report said that, throughout the pandemic, general practice has shown it works well with fewer bureaucratic processes such as contractual and regulatory compli-ance activities.

While the RCGP recognises the need for regulation and other processes to ensure patient safety and quality of care, it called for the model to give GPs the time they need to shape sustainable post-Covid-19 general practice.

In 2019, the RCGP published the document, Fit for the Future, which set out a vision for general practice in 2030. The RCGP said this vision had not changed because of the pandemic, with its fo-cus on the delivery of care that is holistic, person-centred and relationship-based remaining at the heart.

However, the RCGP report re-thinks how it should realise this vision, as general practice "adapts to the new post-Covid-19 health landscape". The report focuses on three key features of the Covid-19 response that have the most potential for transforming general practice so that it is equipped to meet the health challenges of the 21st century. These consist of new ways of working enabled by digital technology; reducing workload by eliminating unnecessary contractual and regulatory compliance activities; and developing the public/community health function of general practice.

RCGP, Chair, Professor Martin Marshall said: “We are asking the governments in all four nations to make changes to ensure we can spend more time with patients. It’s imperative we learn from the pandemic and strive to create a better functioning ‘normal’ for general practice, rather than simply returning to the way things used to be. We need governments to trust GPs to do our job well, and safely, and if they do, the ultimate beneficiaries will be our patients.”

The report, General Practice in the Post Covid World; Challenges and Opportunities for General Practice, is available at https://www.rcgp.org.uk/-/media/Files/News/2020/general-practice-post-covid-rcgp.ashx?la=en