An open letter to primary care

Our chair Lord Victor Adebowale writes an open letter to everyone working in primary care.
Victor Adebowale CBE

3 November 2021

The NHS Confederation has not been widely known across primary care for very long but over the last few years we have been increased our engagement with, and support for, this vital sector. We now host two membership networks for primary care leaders across PCNs and federations in England and work very closely with wider system partners. Our role as a membership organisation is to support all parts of the NHS that plan and deliver front line services, including in primary care.

So, quite simply as chair of the NHS Confederation, I want to say thank you on behalf of this organisation to everyone who works in primary care.

You don’t need me to tell you how challenging the past 20 months have been. Primary care has met those challenges head-on, rapidly adapting to new ways of working and managing nearly 250 million appointments from January to August.

We know that primary care is a team sport. You have worked together across practices, primary care networks, primary care federations, at place level, and you are taking up the mantle as the drivers of system working too.

All over the country, you have worked to expand the breadth of your teams and shown that primary care at its best is more than the sum of its parts. But you have not always got the credit for this when you should have. We know that much of the commentary on primary care in recent months has been hurtful but very much unjustified and we at the NHS Confederation, along with our partners, will continue to call that out.

I and my colleagues at the NHS Confederation have always been great supporters of primary care and it is so important to recognise the multi-disciplinary diversity of the sector, and all the professions that work together to deliver high-quality front-line services.

Thank you, to each and every one of you.

Thank you, primary care.

Lord Victor Adebowale

Chair, NHS Confederation