latest health care news

12.02.18

Doctors warn of risk posed to patients by shared GP appointments

The Royal College of GPs (RCGP) has expressed concern at the prospect of shared GP appointments.

In this style of appointments, patients with the same health problems, such as arthritis, will be seen as a group by GPs in a bid to cut the pressure on family doctors and save money.

NHS England says the group consultations are not an addition to routine one-to-one appointments, but a replacement that can double productivity, increase access to routine care and create more follow-up appointments.

Pilots have already taken place in parts of England with up to 15 patients with long-term conditions such as back pain, diabetes or arthritis taking part in 90-minute “shared consultations.”

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the RCGP, said the idea had “potential,” but that it would not work for all patients.

“If the scheme is adopted by a practice, patients must be given the choice as to whether to participate, or continue with more traditional GP services,” she stated.

Group consultations are normally held monthly, and GPs claim they are more relaxed than 10-minute private appointments and offer patients the chance to learn from each other.

They could also be extended further and offered to pregnant women, men with prostate issues, and patients with high blood pressure or cancer.

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association also said they would be helpful for some, but added: “We are concerned that these group consultations are said to replace traditional appointments, apparently without exception.”

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Comments

Chris Mimnagh   15/02/2018 at 10:51

We use Smas, so you know what? Rhett work but not for everybody. The silliness is that our main tool in primary care- re the 1:1 appointment also doesn't work for everybody, teleconsultation​, home visits, SMAs, compound consultations are all part of the future of general practice.

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