This is nice, and great. It won't reduce GP workload though. Only one thing will do that...
"It also involves doing a set of observations on every patient – knowing what their respiratory rate, temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, is."
Viral illness will give you: a fever and tachycardia. Please tell me what is the evidence that this will help me simultaneously 'detect sepsis', and reduce antibiotic prescriptions.
My referral rate when I locum is undoubtedly higher. The risk is greater, you have less facility for follow up, and are more likely to be complained about. I would only worry if it seemed your referral rate was significantly higher than other locums.
The more this is debated the better. It can be a lonely battle otherwise. The problem we have in GP is that we are told it is simultaneously our fault, and within our gift to solve. Reports like these that point to the various pressures are useful. It often feels like a losing battle though.
Really this needs to be tested in court - 'trying to avoid over-diagnosis' needs to be a valid defence in court.
‘I was struck by a figure when I first arrived as health secretary that in a hospital setting there are two nurses for every doctor. But in primary care, there are two doctors for every nurse. There are lots of things that can be delivered by other professionals that GPs currently do.’
Sigh. This is because patients in hospital require a large degree of nursing care. They are very unwell.
Good article. In society we have decided that depression and anxiety are medical problems. For the vast majority there are significant environmental factors contributing (as you say in the article). And yet, in the mindset of the public (and many doctors), depression is a problem within the individual, that a doctor must solve. So often in consultation I am thinking "I understand that life has been hard. Why, oh why, is this a doctor's problem to solve?"
Patients will, with no hint of irony, explain the list of contributing factors in their life, and STILL Believe that the problem is within them, or that a pill will somehow allow them to be happy with their horrific lives without being depressed by it. Time and again, we are told to "seek help" if we are depressed, as if some external agent (usually a doctor), can somehow modify your life resulting in "cure".
I think we have got the approach really, dangerously wrong. I think patients get value from a caring doctor, because we bring some kindness and relief in to their lives. That's great, but, I think, a waste of resources and a backward approach. We've a long way to go.
The more we push lifestyle to treat diabetes the better. Drugs affect mortality little, they simply make us feel better about the numbers. It requires large investment however, to combat the huge marketing budgets of pharma.
I am extremely cautious about secondary care advice for anything. It is often evidence-light work-heavy and dubiously informed. Having to do the work yourself rather focuses the mind. My rule of thumb is if talking to a consultant colleague, it is either to refer or to ask a very focused clinical question.
Surely the best advice would be: ignore this nonsense criticism.
Terrible, terrible idea. This will increase demand as people begin to expect the 'antibiotic test' for every minor ailment going. Show me it affects outcomes, and I might be more interested.
Tricky to know how to usefully use this information. Over-diagnosis and over-treatment are the big challenges in modern medicine today.
"Although patients may not see their usual doctor or nurse they can expect to receive the same excellent level of treatment and care."
Er... No. They can't refer, follow up, they don't know you personally, might come up with plans in opposition to their own GP. The money should be spent on improving services at their own GPs.
Jeremy Hunt says that he values the continuity that GPs provide. This contradicts that.
They are generally students who failed to get in to UK medical schools. I believe they self fund. Interesting idea, but seems to me that the focus needs to be on retention and making the job more attractive.