Briefing: General practice in England: An overview

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General practice has changed considerably over the past decade. Practice size has increased, the workforce has grown and become more diverse, the range of services offered has expanded, and the contracting and financing arrangements for GPs have changed.

Current government policy aims to improve access and choice for patients, to enable greater self-management by people with long-term conditions, to expand the role of GPs in areas such as health promotion, to reduce variations in the quality of care provided and to improve quality overall.

In the next few years, accreditation will be introduced for GP practices, and new models for commissioning and delivering care will be expanded.

This briefing sets out how general practice is organised, contracted and financed; analyses the impact of recent government policy; and looks at future trends.