New breed of ‘Uber-GP’ to lead primary care

Posted on November 23, 2009. Filed under: News stories |

Healthcare Republic | Colin Cooper | 23 November 2009

A former chairman of the RCGP has called for a new breed of ‘Uber-GP’ to lead primary care and safeguard the future of personal doctoring.

Professor Mayur Lakhani said these GPs needed to combine the three roles of clinical excellence, a caring approach and leadership.

The Leicestershire GP, who is visiting professor at the University of Leicester Medical School, was speaking at the annual general meeting of the RCGP in London last week.

He told the meeting: ‘The Uber-GP is the epitomy of a doctor. It’s the clinician focused on excellence; the caring personal doctor; the doctor who makes things happen through leadership. This is the new dynamic of the triple role, the Uber-GP.’

Professor Lakhani, who had been the youngest GP to be appointed RCGP chairman in 2004, was giving the college’s prestigious annual James Mackenzie lecture. He said there were already many Uber-GPs, but the profession tended to underplay its strengths.

‘This is not about superheroes or remarkable GPs. Excellence is within the reach of all of us. It’s about having the best of general practice everywhere and we need to set out a progressive career structure to make it happen.’

Professor Lakhani said he wanted to see a ‘comeback’ for clinical excellence rather than the current focus on minimum standards.

‘We need to stand back and create a professional life that is not governed by the QOF. I am a fan of the QOF but we need something broader than that. We need to allow GPs to innovate, make discoveries, and allow new ideas to flourish.’

But he warned that high quality technical care was not enough in itself. The Uber-GP would need to be a good personal doctor, practising patient-centred medicine, within a system that valued continuity of care.

‘Fragmentation is the scourge of modern medicine and I am worried about what’s happening to continuity of care. I am worried that we, in the home of general practice, are moving away from personal care. The NHS does not prioritise personal care but it must start to do so. We must have a general practice that allows and encourages continuity of care.’

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