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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Hands off GP emergency admissions

The common political misconception is that GPs' emergency admissions need to be cut back. Politicians bang on about this; bad GPs need to be brought to heel to cut costs; and PCTs jump to come up with schemes and audits.

South Worcestershire PCT considered, but rightly abandoned, a financial incentive to cut GP emergency admissions and has carried out an audit to find out what is happening in its area. The findings, which will not surprise a single GP, are that emergency admissions are beyond the doctor's control.

Emergency admissions are just that. The patient needs to be seen promptly in hospital and to delay is not an option. The necessary course of action is always clear to the referring doctor.

Any pressure or bribe discouraging doctors from admitting emergencies is detrimental to patients and professionally unacceptable. Patient safety demands GPs do not risk inappropriately managing patients at home.

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