Why is academic primary care important?
Academic primary care is a distinct discipline dedicated to advancing primary care through education, research and scholarship. The success of primary care therefore depends on the continuing work of the academic community that underpins it.
Academic primary care is a multidisciplinary professional group, combining distinct expertise and understanding of the primary care context with specialist skills in education and research methodology - to ultimately advance practice and policy.
The discipline has its origins in the medical school (university) setting but is now also strongly embedded in clinical service and practice, including within partner clinical commissioning groups, postgraduate educational contexts (Health Education England), clinical research networks, collaborations for leadership in applied health research and care, and academic health science networks.
The discipline works to identify, explore and address problems facing primary care populations and health care systems. It develops, tests and disseminates primary care solutions to complex problems through planning, undertaking, and reporting on the findings of both basic and applied research. This includes its essential role in the design, delivery and evaluation of appropriate undergraduate and postgraduate curricula for tomorrow’s workforce training to work in an ever evolving NHS.
1 The BMJ: ‘Tackling the crisis in general practice’
2 Health Education England ‘By choice – not by chance'
3 NHS Five Year Forward View
4As shown by Healthwatch’s annual survey, the 2016 British Social Attitudes Survey, and the annual NHS GP patient survey.
5 The Lancet: Clinical workload in UK primary care: a retrospective analysis of 100 million consultations in England, 2007-14