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It has been widely quoted that up to 90% of Clinical contacts in the UK take place in primary care. It is therefore disappointing to see that, in an otherwise excellent summary of the current state of UK medical research by Johnson and Black (BMJ 2018; 360:k1254),primary care was only mentioned once and then only as part of the GPRD scheme which is essentially a passive data mining exercise.
There seems to be a widespread belief, perhaps originating from, and perpetuated by, the misguided and secondary care-centric policies of the NIHR, that primary care teams are unable to conduct clinical research themselves without the umbilical cord of secondary care. On the contrary primary care is a hugely capable and much neglected resource for both industry and academic research and it is high time that it this is appropriately acknowledged and, more importantly, properly supported.
Dr N Jones
GP with research interest, previous Industry Clinical Lead for the Primary Care Research Network
No competing interests
16 April 2018
St Chads Surgery, Gullock Tyning, Midsomer Norton. BA3 2UH