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GPs defending patient complaints to be asked which guidelines they followed


The problem with an approach that says 'follow the guideline' is that it assumes the diagnosis has been made (or there is strong evidence to suggest a diagnosis). In reality GPs deal with often vague and non-specific presentations which need the diagnosis to be narrowed down before referring to the guideline. Many complaints are due to 'delayed' or 'wrong' initial diagnoses precisely due to the uncertain nature of our job. As far as whether guidelines are a good or bad thing; as someone who has contributed to 4 NICE guidelines I feel they are more good than bad. (I would say that!) They do vary in quality and fit to general practice but they do show what the evidence suggests may be the better management options. As others have said, they are not protocols and the NICE induction process makes it clear that a sinificant minority of cases may not fit the guideline. The problem arises not from the guideline development process but the assumption by others (the ombudsman included) that they are 1) Compulsory 2) always appropriate 3) Should be followed blindly without deviation.

Posted date

03 Sep 2018

Posted time