Former GPC deputy chairman Dr Simon Fradd told the Nurse Practitioner Association conference in Liverpool last month that using nurses to telephone triage could cut the number of GPs needed.
Writing in today's GP, RCGP chairman Professor Steve Field and vice-chair Dr Clare Gerada say: 'Without undermining the crucial role and work of our nursing colleagues, we strongly disagree with the assertions made by Dr Fradd when all the evidence demonstrates that having the right number of high-quality GPs significantly improves positive outcomes for patients.'
They quote the research of health expert Barbara Starfield, who found that the higher the rate of GPs per population, the lower the hospital rates.
Professor Field and Dr Gerada add: 'We have got to ensure that all our patients across the country get access to the high-quality care that they deserve.'
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