GP lose antenatal role

Moving antenatal care away from general practice threatens to deskill the profession, an RCGP spokeswoman has said.

A report by DoH maternity czar Dr Sheila Shribman proposed that in future women who suspect they are pregnant will consult a midwife, not their GP.

But Dr Sarah Jarvis, women’s health spokeswoman at the RCGP, said that if a GP does not have contact with women during pregnancy, there is a risk of ‘deskilling’ in primary care obstetrics and gynaecology.

‘We know a lot about the realm of the normal pregnancy, so we’ll be in a better position to differentiate between the normal and abnormal,’ she said.

Removal of GPs from antenatal care also threatens continuity of care, said Dr Jarvis.

‘During the pregnancy is often a very good time for the patient to get to know the GP.

‘After the birth, when contact with maternity services is severed, women will have a healthcare professional to contact about their own health,’ she said.

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