GPs urged to support 'low profile' patients

GP commissioning may end up benefiting only patients whose advocates 'shout the loudest', charities have warned.

Charities have urged GPs to not forget conditions such as arthritis (Photograph: SPL)
Charities have urged GPs to not forget conditions such as arthritis (Photograph: SPL)

Federico Moscogiuri, head of policy and campaigns at Arthritis Care, said the charity welcomed the White Paper's focus on patient-centred services.

But he was concerned that 'current levels of neglect' may become entrenched in many parts of the country.

'There is a risk that under the new commissioning model, those that shout the loudest are the ones that get the services,' he said.

'Every community, however, will have many people with arthritis, and they could end up being cut out of the picture if they're simply not visible enough.'

The British Thoracic Society's response to the White Paper warns that patients with respiratory conditions may face a similar fate. It says there is a risk that 'less high-profile conditions (and in particular those which do not fit into the long-term conditions framework) will be neglected in the new commissioning structure'.

Crohn's and Colitis UK chief executive Richard Driscoll said the NHS reforms provide a 'useful opportunity' to bring greater clinical input to the commissioning of services.

'Very few areas have defined their local pathways for managing Crohn's or ulcerative colitis or indeed for any gastrointestinal conditions,' he said.

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