GPs should perform post-operative checks

GP leaders will consider DoH proposals for GPs to carry out post-operative check-ups, but only if they are paid for the service and resources are freed up.

Dr David Colin-Thomé
Dr David Colin-Thomé
DoH primary care czar, Dr David Colin-Thomé, is working on a White Paper follow-up report looking at hospital services that could be better delivered in primary care.

One proposal he is considering is making GPs do the post operation check-ups currently carried out by surgeons.

GPC negotiator Dr Peter Holden said that it was possible that such a service could be delivered as a national enhanced service, but currently GPs do not have ‘the time resources or space to do this’.

‘My capacity is nearly 100 per cent now, so what does he want us to stop doing?’ he said.

He added that the idea would also take away a valuable learning tool from surgeons because post-operative check-ups help them to assess how they did as well as see how the patient is getting on.

RCGP chairman Professor Mayur Lakhani said it would look carefully at the proposals.

‘Some follow-up, particularly after complex surgery, will always be necessary,’ he said. ‘But there is no doubt that some hospital follow-up appointments are not necessary, and some patients present to their GP after being discharged from hospital.’

He thought that practice-based commissioning (PBC) could be the ‘driver’ to make it happen.

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