The NHS Alliance has said Lord Darzi's interim report on the NHS marks a "good day for primary care" and a "good day for NHS patients too."
The Alliance particularly welcome Darzi's suggestion that additional funding should support GP practices to open for longer and on Saturday mornings.
Investing in new GP services for underdoctored innercity areas will also give more patients access to a local surgery, they say.
"Lord Darzi has given general practice a resounding vote of confidence. There is no threat to the traditional GP or the doctor–patient relationship from improving access and making sure doctors are available for everyone in innercity areas," says NHS Alliance Chairman Dr Michael Dixon.
"On the contrary, that demonstrates that the government recognises the value of general practice."
It is added, however, that Lord Darzi's targets must be achieved, and the Alliance will do all it can to ensure that changes are locally determined by local clinicians.
Dr Dixon adds: "Now GPs and primary care trusts must together start planning for a future where patients are at the centre of all our decisions – and where local communities and patients are properly involved in planning the services they need."