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New GPSI standards 'unachievable'

Hundreds of GPSIs could be stripped of their titles under 'unachievable' new Government standards, GPs are warning.

Critics of the complex accreditation scheme said it would undermine Government plans to shift care into the community, whereas advocates said robust standards were long overdue.Every GPSI will have to gain accreditation by March 2009 and be re-accredited every three years thereafter. A 'senior clinician', normally a hospital consultant, will assess their competence and formal qualifications alone will not be enough to guarantee GPSI status. Detailed criteria are being drawn up for about 20 different specialties and are likely to include onerous continuing training requirements and a minimum number of supervised clinics.GPC member Dr Peter Fellows warned many GPSIs would lose their status and indemnity, forcing patients to seek hospital care. 'Our LMC is aghast at these plans for approving GPSIs. They are unbelievably complex and the criteria are unachievable,' said Dr Fellows, a GP in Lydney, Gloucestershire.But Dr Steve Holmes, chair of the General Practice Airways Group and a GP in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, said some GPs currently classed as GPSIs had not done enough training. 'If we are looking for those with a special interest we need to step above a weekend training course,' he said.

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