London A&Es 'may be run by GPs'

GPs could be running A&E departments in two London hospitals next year if controversial proposals are accepted.

The plans would mean GPs see and treat the majority of patients arriving at Hammersmith and Charing Cross hospital's emergency wards.

A group of GPs are bidding with England's largest trust, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, to run all ‘unscheduled' primary care for Hammersmith and Fulham PCT, in a bid to reduce A&E attendances.

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said he thought it was an idea that would be popular with other PCTs. ‘I'm sure every emergency ward around the country will have a GP practice in it within a few years.

‘Mixing up primary care and casualty is a bad idea. It is not what GPs are there for,' he added.

West London has the highest rate of A&E attendances per population in England. Around 1,400 patients are seen a week at Charing Cross Hospital A&E and 650 a week at Hammersmith Hospital.

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

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