Chief Executive, National Association of Fundholding Practices I am pleased to be able to contribute to the celebration marking the 50th Anniversary of the NHS. GP fundholders have been instrumental in improving the delivery of health care services to patients, since the introduction of the last NHS Reforms in 1990.
The recently published White Paper "The new NHS, Modern, Dependable", has stressed the importance of a primary care led NHS. A period of transition will herald in a major re organisation of the NHS. The structure of the organisation of primary care will change and GP Fundholding will be phased out. The White Paper nevertheless endorses many fundholding principles and this will present fundholding practices with a new challenge as they restructure, to continue to provide cost effective, efficient health care for their patients. The experience that both fundholders and fundmanagers have gained over the last seven years will be invaluable as the new Primary Care Groupings are set up.
NAFP as an organisation will also be undergoing a period of re-structuring, continuing to represent fundholding practices at present and evolving as necessary to meet the challenges of representing the new Primary Care organisations.
What is important is that we deliver the best possible health care to patients. The NHS has striven to do this for the last 50 years and the new opportunities presented will enable primary care to continue to be in the vanguard of the delivery of health care for the next millennium.