Patient registration should no longer be the 'monopoly' of general practice, primary care czar Dr David Colin-Thomé told the NHS Confederation conference.
During a discussion on the introduction of new primary care providers, he said: 'Registration must be easier, wider and different, rather than being the monopoly of general practitioners'.
He added that practices must 'demonstrate' the value of registration to patients.
'Practices have got to demonstrate that having registration gives the patient some benefit. We have got to use it or lose it.' Practices might want to stress the benefits of registration to patients as part of a 'package' of services, he added.
However he suggested there was a considerable 'evidence base' that registration with GPs did benefit patients, especially those with longterm conditions.