GPs have reported wide variation in the standard of care across different hospital departments, with almost twice as many rating specialties like oncology and cardiology as excellent than neurology or musculoskeletal care.
Pulse’s survey of 500 GPs found the majority of respondents rated most specialties as offering a good overall standard of care. But a detailed analysis of standards revealed stark differences between 10 specialisms when looking at reports of either excellent or clearly substandard care.
When asked to rate the quality of care in each specialty out of 10, more than half of GPs gave oncology, cardiology, paediatric and respiratory care departments at least eight. But less than a third of GPs put neurology in the top bracket, and musculoskeletal scored eight and above for only 36%.
Just 1% of GPs scored oncology and cardiology three or less, compared with 9% for neurology, 7% for dermatology and 6% for musculoskeletal – all areas that are targeted for cut-backs.
A GP in south London, who asked not to be named, said: ‘The decision to recommend or use the local hospital is very dependant on the specialty – for example, cardiology is not only poor in terms of speed of access but is also poor for communication. It seems to focus on high-end services such as hyperacute stroke care to the detriment of routine services.’