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Headline

Hunt: The challenge is to rethink the role of primary care

Comment

"When I have been visiting A & Es in the last few weeks, hard-working staff talk about the same issues: lack of beds to admit people, poor out of hours GP services, inaccessible primary care and a lack of coordination across the health and social care system." This is anecdote not evidence. I had a letter from an SHO in A&E berating me for not providing an appointment for a patient, and telling me that he had told the patient to register elsewhere, On looking at the patient's notes, I saw that he had actuallly DNA'd an appointment at the practice on the day of his attendance. I wrote back to the SHO, and forgot about it The SHO then came to work in the practice as a registrar and reminded me of the incident. He had changed his tune because he then had experience of GP. This is not evidence either, but hopefully demonstrates that hard working A&E staff may not be accurate in their assessment of what GP care is available.Mr Hunt also suggests increased attendance at A&E is due to the 2004 contract. Perhaps he should go further back, and think about care in the community. In the early 90s, there were large NHS wards that looked after elderly frail and possibly demented people, with consultants in charge and oncall junior doctors. These patients are now in nursing homes. Perhaps this may have a bearing on the rise in A&E attendance.

Posted date

26 Apr 2013

Posted time

11:09am

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