- Since 1997, the Labour government has made some momentous changes to the way primary care is managed and delivered. The creation of Primary Care Groups, the development of NHS Direct and the implementation of clinical governance will all have an effect on GP services for decades to come. In "What has New Labour done for primary care?", analysts from the King's Fund examine the effects of those changes in England to date, and the likely outcomes for patients, doctors and other health professionals in the longer term. The book examines whether or not the new entry points to the NHS (including NHS Direct, walk-in centres and PMS pilot schemes) might make primary care more accessible at the risk of continuity of care; the tension within primary care between local autonomy and central direction; and the impact of clinical governance on the quality of care provided to patients. Edited by Dr. Stephen Gillam, Director of the Primary Care Programme at the King's Fund, this book develops a balance sheet for New Labour's contribution to primary care. It shows that while many of the Government's reforms will take some years to affect people's health, they have already had a major effect on the working practices of primary care professionals. Moreover, if the new services and structures surrounding general practice are harnessed properly, they need not damage what is most valuable about primary care, and may even enhance its ability to support the nation's health for the foreseeable future.