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GPs must improve skill-mix

GPs have been slow to involve patients in decision making about their care and need to improve their use of skill-mix, research has claimed.

The literature review by a trio of senior GP academics and political advisers concluded that GPs would have to make more use of the primary care team to be able to focus on their core job of assessing and managing poorly differentiated symptoms.

The authors, GPs Dr Tim Wilson and Professor Martin Roland and former Department of Health adviser Professor Chris Ham, wrote that quality of clinical care had made 'significant strides' and that equity remained strong.

Efficiency was also high, due to the NHS's focus on primary care, they wrote in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (January).

But the review identified 'significant weaknesses' in patient involvement in treatment decision-making and provision of a comprehensive service.

Patient responsiveness was arguably the weakest aspect of general practice and might be getting worse, they said.

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