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At the heart of general practice since 1960

GPs improve access dramatically

GP practices in the fourth wave of the National Primary Care Collaborative have improved access by more than 76 per cent, figures released last week have shown.

The 100 practices in the wave that began in September 2001 had an average waiting time of 0.95 days for their third available appointment.

The practices had an average wait of four days before they began using advanced access 14 months ago.

Dr John Oldham, head of the national primary care development team, announced the latest statistics at a Health Service Journal conference last week. He said each wave had improved patient access more quickly than the last.

The third wave of the collaborative had taken 17 months to get to the same point.

Dr Oldham added that improvements in coronary heart disease care by practices in the collaborative meant there was a four-fold improvement in mortality rates for patients covered by GPs in the scheme.

The collaborative now covers more than 2,000 practices.

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