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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Drug management of type 2 diabetes branded sub-optimal

A new analysis by the University of Bristol has demonstrated that GPs are better value than nurse practitioners. It might be

a difference of just a

few pence per

consultation ­ but with a million such interactions in practices every day even small individual savings add up into a large annual chunk of cash.

That is not to say that nurse practitioners do not have a place in primary care. They are popular with patients who value the extra time they are able to spend with them and have proved their worth in protocol-driven care supported by GPs.

But the notion, prevalent in Government circles, that you can break general practice down into its constituent parts and get it done cheaper by nurses, is shown to be

the fanciful claptrap GPs have always known it to be.

Perhaps now ministers will cease their skill-mix mantra and focus instead on delivering more GPs to the frontline.

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