General Practice Overview

Helen Zealley

Health: GPs

With first-hand accounts by Dr JS Milne, Dr G Kennedy and Dr A Davies.

The most significant changes, some of which derived from a profoundly important GP Charter in 1966, included:

  • the introduction of formalised training requirements
  • the gradual replacement of most single-handed practitioners by groups of doctors working in group partnerships often defining the geographical boundaries of their ‘practice’
  • the development of ‘primary care teams’ of health professionals working together to promote health as well as to prevent and treat ill health
  • the development of purpose-built surgeries and health centres
  • improvements in patient record keeping, initially from small ‘Lloyd George’ (1911 NHI Act) envelopes to A4 folders and, in the 1990s, the introduction of computerisation

and finally

  • the introduction of voluntary, shared co-operative arrangements involving almost all East Lothian GPs – initially for night-time and weekend cover but by 2000, extending to cover many other aspects of their work in a ‘Local Health Care Co-operative’.