30 practices pilot move from secondary care

Thirty ‘demonstration projects' have started to offer surgical operations in GP practices, the DoH has announced.

It is hoping they will be the first step to millions more operations and tests at the doctor’s surgery instead of in hospitals.  

The DoH pilots will focus on six specialty areas: urology, ENT, dermatology, orthopaedics, gynaecology and general surgery.  

It follows January’s primary care White Paper, which announced plans to bring traditional hospital services into community settings.  

The 30 pilot schemes are testing how teams of consultants, GPs and nurses can safely and effectively provide minor operations, such as varicose vein and hernia repairs, diagnostic tests such as hearing checks, and step-down care closer to patients’ homes.  

In one pilot in Bradford a specially-trained GP is running a menstrual disorders clinic with a gynaecological nurse specialist.   

In Truro, Cornwall, two GPs at the Probus Surgery are providing minor and intermediate surgery for hernias and carpal tunnel from the practice.  

Dr Raj Dhumale, a qualified general surgeon and GP, has offered minor surgery from his own practice in Norfolk for over a decade and has helped establish the pilot in Cornwall.  

Dr Dhumale said ‘not all GPs will borrow from the bank and take a huge risk’, so PCTs need to look at paying notional rent for an operating theatre to establish the service, but added that such schemes would fund themselves by saving on the national tariff.  

He said he would like to see the service expand in both a clinical and geographical sense, offering ophthalmology and urology, for example, as widely as possible.  

The pilots are being assessed by a steering group which will report back to the DoH early next year about which models to roll out nationwide. 

RCGP chairman Professor Mayur Lakhani is one of the advisors on the group and is supporting the move.  

‘There is an untapped potential for primary care to deliver more services for patients,  so we welcome these demonstration sites. The evaluations will help identify factors that support care close to home,’ he said. 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

GP consultation

GP practices delivering 150,000 extra appointments per day compared with 2019

GP practices in England delivered 150,000 more appointments per working day in the...

Surgeon looking at a monitor in an operating theatre

NICE recommends non-invasive surgical procedure to target obesity

NICE has said that a non-invasive weight loss procedure should be used by the NHS...

GP trainee

Two training posts deliver one full-time GP on average, report warns

Two training posts are needed on average to deliver a single fully-qualified, full-time...

Dr Fiona Day

How to flourish as a GP by learning from the good and the difficult

Leadership and career coach Dr Fiona Day explains how GPs can grow and develop from...

Unhappy older woman sitting at home alone

Low mood – red flag symptoms

Low mood is a common presentation in primary care and can be a sign of a mental health...


PCN to take on GMS practice contract in landmark move for general practice

A GP practice in Hertfordshire could become the first to be run directly by a PCN...