The research coincides with last week’s announcement of 30 pilots to shift six specialities, including rheumatology and dermatology, out of hospitals and into the community. The pilots include numerous GPSI clinics carrying out minor surgery and nurse-led specialist services.
The research, by the King’s Fund and King’s College, London, found that although patients expressed a slight preference for the convenience and shorter waiting times of local surgery clinics, use of GPSIs had not cut waiting times at the hospital outpatient clinics studied.
It also found that GPSI clinics were more expensive than hospital clinics, even when patient costs were taken into account.
The research recommended that there should be minimum standards for training, accreditation and facilities for GPSI clinics over and above what the RCGP has already published.