Extended hours 'inadvertently damage patient care'

Simplistic and unpiloted NHS reforms including extended hours are inadvertently damaging patient care in general practice, claim a group of leading academics.

Professor John Howie, from the University of Edinburgh, along with colleagues have criticised recent reforms in general practice.

They say that reforms will change the successful model of general practice which provides continuity of care by a known GP, to one in which patients are seen by a variety of healthcare workers in different sites who treat episodes of illness rather than the whole person.

The DoH's insistence of using general practice to implement a pubic health agenda has had the knock-on effect of patients not being treated as individuals as priority in consultations is given to public health agendas over personal health, they warn.

They also criticise perverse incentives, such as the quality framework, and claim that it provides poor value for patients.

They conclude that if reforms are allowed to continue, then ‘patients will lose holistic care, doctors will lose job satisfaction and the NHS will lose effectiveness and inefficiency'.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

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