Intended for healthcare professionals


The new primary care organisations: one year on

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 01 April 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:886

Some successes—but many issues remain to be resolved

  1. Jonathan Shapiro, senior fellow (
  1. Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2RT

    Primary care groups have been with us in England for a year. In that time we have also had a winter bed crisis; a general practitioner serial killer; a new secretary of state; the introduction of NHS Direct and walk in centres; and, only last month, the promise of much greater resources for the health service provided that it can “modernise.” How have these events affected the development of primary care, and what are their implications for the future?

    Primary care groups attained several successes in their first year.1 They have become much more corporate: interprofessional working has broken out in an encouraging way at board level, though its progress beyond board level is less clear. They have generally done well in managing their prescribing budgets. And their emphasis on defining and refining primary and community care has made much progress, with the boundaries between general practice and community services now being blurred to the …

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