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ENT providers' crucial skills

From Dr Peter Thomas, Southampton

The evidence of the clinical effectiveness of ENT GPSIs has been demonstrated in several studies and in local audits, but the training and experience of those providing these services nationally has been patchy.

It is crucial as the types of provider become more numerous that we have firm guidance for commissioners as to the appropriate level of skills providers must demonstrate and the guidance from the RCGP and Department of Health (News, 15 March) makes it clear those providing the service must be adequately trained and supported by appropriate professional bodies.

There are two well-recognised routes to demonstration of appropriate skills, the Diploma in ENT qualification from Middlesex University and the Diploma in Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery (DOHNS) from the Royal College of Surgeons.

I have been an examiner for the RCS for the last four years and increasing numbers of GPs seeking to set up GPSI services are coming through these routes to establish their professional credentials and demonstrate their competence.

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