In the context of tightening budgets, organisational complexity, and the urgency of addressing the staggering inequalities of access and outcomes across the country, this is a time of unprecedented challenge for our health and care services.
Primary care is the public face of the NHS; the first point of contact for millions of men, women and children across the UK every day. It has become increasingly clear that, in order to cope with the invidious combination of rising demand and limited resources, it is essential to improve the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of these vital services.
The key for policymakers to achieve this, is integration. That is why I am pleased to introduce this new publication from Policy@Manchester, which sets out to address some of the biggest challenges of integration now facing the primary care sector.
This collection draws upon the formidable depth of expertise within The University of Manchester’s Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, with contributions from researchers affiliated with the recently-formed Institute for Health Policy and Organisation, the Centre for Pharmacy Workforce Studies, and the Alliance Manchester Business School.
This work is timely. The conversion of sustainability and transformation partnerships into integrated care systems is still underway, the primary care networks initiative still less than one year old, and the new contract framework for pharmacy was agreed only last year. On Primary Care delivers fresh and critical insight into the changes that are now taking place in our family surgeries, high street chemists, and clinics.
The articles contained within this volume, and the expertise of its authors, will be of great value to anyone involved in the creation, implementation, or scrutiny
of primary care policy and practice.
I hope that each of these pieces, and On Primary Care as a whole, will make a full and substantive contribution to the ongoing development of the primary care sector, and improving the health and
care services on which we all, ultimately, rely.