Primary care is the ‘bedrock of the NHS’, but a ‘modern vision’ is needed to meet new demands, delegates at the NHS Confederation Expo heard this week.

The 2022 Fuller stocktake report, which gives a central role to community pharmacy, is one such vision that 'we can all get behind', NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard said on Wednesday.

She warned that the NHS ‘needs to grow,’ with primary care being central to the successful development of the NHS.

And she added that it was 'making progress’ with more clinical staff working in surgeries to ‘manage the new demands from society,’ including clinical pharmacists.

‘It’s clear the GP workforce will need to grow in some parts of the country faster than others. But again, that can’t be the only solution.’

‘We need a modern vision for primary care,’ Ms Pritchard explained.

And she highlighted ongoing pilots of new ways of working for GP practices – modelled on the Fuller Stocktake – that will be ‘integral to the future of the NHS’.

Ms Pritchard also drew attention to the importance of workforce.

‘I want to be clear; this is a three-legged stool, recruit, retain and reform, we can’t pick and choose and decide we only want to do one or two of the three,’ she warned.

A version of this article first appeared on our sister title Nursing in Practice.