- New Health Network exists to encourage the NHS to fulfil its potential by stimulating an environment of innovation and change in the NHS for the benefit of patients. Its aim in publishing this book is to stimulate debate and provide a space for thinking that will be necessary to achieve genuine change in the health service. Health care practitioners and patients were invited to give their visions of primary care. A number of themes recur throughout this collection of visions, anticipating: more user-friendly primary care; more integrated care, designed around the needs and circumstances of individual users; easier access to care, resulting particularly from enhancements in information technology; an increase in the range of health care services that will be provided by primary care practitioners and in primary care settings; an increasingly multidisciplinary primary care workforce in 2009; nurses with extended skills, responsibilities and training; the continuation of the 'gatekeeping' responsibilities of primary care; and greater integration between health and social services planning and provision. As well as these themes, recurring tensions mentioned were: the pursuit of uniformly high quality primary care in a manner which does not impede local flexibility and innovation; the potential loss of the 'personal touch' as some primary care is provided via telephone helplines and information technology; and the fact that the potential for primary care to deliver an expanded range of health care services will only become a reality if there is sufficient capacity in primary care to fulfil this potential.