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GPs condemn post-op check proposal

GPs have condemned Government plans for them to take on post-operative check-ups as 'ridiculous'.

The Department of Health believes the move would save the NHS £1.9bn each year by freeing up consultants' time.

The calculations are based on each appointment with a consultant costing £90, while a GP consultation costs £30.

Announcing his proposals, Dr David Colin-Thome, primary care tsar, said having consultants do the follow-ups was like 'asking a Michelin-starred chef to cook microwave meals all day, a waste of their skills and resources'.

Dr Colin-Thome said most patients contacted their GP within two weeks anyway, and there was a high non-attendance rate with hospital follow-ups.

He said: 'Putting in place a system where GPs routinely offer these check-ups should remove duplication.'

Dr Richard Vautrey, GPC negotiator, said the proposals were 'completely inappropriate'.

He said: 'If Dr Colin-Thome is saying patients don't need to be seen by a specialist then they don't need to be seen by anyone.'

Dr Doug Campbell, a GP in Southampton, said Dr Colin-Thome's Michelin chef analogy denigrated GPs.

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