Developing a research and development strategy for primary care.BMJ 1993; 306 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.306.6871.189 (Published 16 January 1993) Cite this as: BMJ 1993;306:189
General practice research has been a minority activity and underfunded in the past. The creation of the purchaser and provider split, the introduction of medical audit, and the new research and development strategy for the NHS provide an opportunity to focus research on the health needs of the population. FHSAs, with the regional health authority, should develop a local strategy for research and development and appoint a lead officer, who may be the medical adviser. When negotiating contracts FHSAs need to back up their arguments with research evidence. NHS development research should cover quality, distribution, accessibility, outcome, and effectiveness. FHSAs should play a part in disseminating knowledge in the interests of achieving an effective and high quality service. GPs should be encouraged to participate in research by relaxing the regulations of compulsory hours of patient service and by creating a practice development allowance.