Continuity of care much appreciated
I believe continuity of care is paramount to providing quality care to our patients. Once we stop providing this, patients will lose their 'advocate' as they see different doctors and nurses who will often give varying interpretations of clinical data.
I believe the GP, together with practice nurses as appropriate, should be the health professional who 'holds the patient's hand' as they suffer from various illnesses. Some of these will be managed entirely in general practice and others will require input, at various levels, in secondary care.
However, the GP will, providing communication from the hospital isn't too slow, be able to explain what is happening to the patient and help them deal with their symptoms and fears.
This is not possible if they are seen by someone different each time they attend the surgery. Sometimes providing continuity of care is hard and emotionally draining, but it is also very rewarding to see a job well done.
It is very much appreciated by patients too, as the many boxes of chocolates and biscuits, bottles of wine, cards and flowers that we receive at this time of year will testify!
Dr Diana Lowry