General practice as we know it today started to develop at the beginning of the twentieth century and has developed to become arguably the most important specialty within the health service.
GPs are usually the first point of access for patients to the NHS. They provide ongoing and personal medical care for their patients as well as providing the gateway through which patients access specialist hospital care.
General practice deals with over 90% of all patient contacts in the NHS and the average UK resident sees their GP six times a year. Statistics also show that there is a clear link between the number of GPs and the health of the local population.
General practice is, however, currently going through a time of enormous change and is facing many challenges. You may have read about the difficulties of recruiting new doctors into general practice (see for example http://www.itv.com/news/anglia/update/2015-01-22/fears-over-gp-recruitment/) and yet despite some of these difficulties general practice remains one of the most interesting, stimulating and rewarding specialties in medicine. The following link helps to explain why http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dr-zoe-norris/nhs-gp-appointment_b_71643... or you may want to look at some of the twitter posts on #WhyGP. You can find out more about becoming a GP at http://www.rcgp.org.uk/membership/~/media/Files/Membership/RCGP-So-you-w...
This resource considers some of the key challenges and opportunities facing UK general practice and will consider how general practice might develop in the future.