In the UK today, primary care providers are under significant strain from rising demand, reduced investment, and a lack of capacity for planning proactive, integrated care. Many providers are already operating at the limit of their resources, leaving the future of primary care uncertain. The profiles and needs of communities are changing, demand for healthcare is rising, but local provision is struggling - even though the Health and Social Care Act 2012 was meant to provide a blueprint for a decentralised, community-focused health service.
Labour have committed to increasing GP funding and halting cuts to community pharmacies; but with demographic changes meaning that demand will continue to rise, bold new ideas for the future of primary care are needed. Innovative measures will be necessary to address the pressures facing primary care, and health services more broadly, to ensure the needs and priorities of patients and communities are met.