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International Primary Care Association

Clinical Focus Volume 1 N1

Choice and Practitioners with Special Interests: An opportunity to develop enhanced services


This article is a management review of the challenges facing Primary Care Trusts with the introduction of Choice at point of referral in December 2005. Practitioners with Special Interests could be key to developing robust primary care services. They have unique skills in primary care and in their specialist area which could be utilised to develop locally provided services with rapid access that prevent hospital appointments. If a hospital appointment is required, they are excellently placed to provide expert information to patients concerning their choices, ensuring that the choice offered is clinically appropriate for that patient. Accurate data on referral levels in all specialties is essential to ensure the correct level of capacity is purchased by PCTs with appropriate secondary care providers. This article recommends the use of a Referral Monitoring Centre to assess the capacity needs now, to provide accurate data collection.

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