Call For GP Surgeries To Be Set Up In Hospitals

GP Practices Could Be Established Inside Hospitals

03.10.2014

GP surgeries could be set up in UK hospitals in a bid to prevent patients from being needlessly admitted as emergency cases when they in fact require care for a more minor condition.

Head of the NHS Simon Stevens is poised to formally make this announcement today (Friday October 3rd) at a conference in Liverpool, where he will speak to members of the Royal College of GPs.

He will suggest that establishing practices within hospitals should help to prevent people being "passed from pillar to post" when it comes to trying to access the best care for their needs.

Those that attend hospital with an ailment could be assessed in the GP clinic first to determine the seriousness of their condition, which will then be treated in the best possible way by the most appropriate department.

Mr Stevens will say: "We need to tear up the design flaw in the 1948 NHS model where family doctors were organised entirely separately from hospital specialists and where patients with chronic health conditions are increasingly passed from pillar to post between different bits of the health and social services."

In particular, Mr Stevens is calling for these measures to be implemented in more urban areas of the UK, where doctor shortages are more prevalent and spread rather thinly across practices.

Basing them in one central location would help to prevent confusion over where patients can find them, while also meaning they are closer to specialists in case any problems do arise.

He also suggests that GPs could work together to set up community services offering scans, dialysis and outpatient chemotherapy, relieving some of the pressure placed on hospitals.

In addition, Mr Stevens is set to say that more of the funding allocated to healthcare services should be given to general practice in an attempt to improve the preventative treatment of patients and stop them from being admitted to hospitals for short stays, thereby freeing up beds for those suffering from more serious conditions.

Expert Opinion

Patient care should always be a top priority for the NHS, which means the provision of a joined-up service throughout the health service. It is vital that local GP surgeries and hospitals work together to provide the best possible care and treatment for all patients.

“We have seen first-hand the problems overstretched accident and emergency departments can cause for patients, who may be neglected, or not receive the treatment they need quickly. New measures, such as introducing GP surgeries to hospitals, are designed to reduce the burden on overstretched A&E departments and would be welcome, but it is vital patient care does not suffer and a thorough trial of the new working methods is conducted before being implemented.”
Mandy Luckman, Partner