The new guidance on accreditation for GPs with Special Interests (GPwSIs), published in April this year by the Department of Health1, has created quite a stir. Those not accredited under the new standards by March 2009 risk losing their title and their PCT contracts cancelled.2
GPwSIs will also have to be re-accredited every three years thereafter. In a previous issue of Clinical Focus Primary Care, Dr David Rout, a GPwSI in ENT, called for a more robust process.3There have been concerns since GPwSIs first evolved, that many GPs were taking up such posts without any formal training or qualifications.
One of the main aims of the new guidance is to link the commissioning of highquality services to accreditation.4This will require good relations between primary and secondary care, as regular expert supervision and mentoring will be essential. Yet many fear the new guidance is too much too late, and may lead to current GPwSIs dropping out, as well as poor recruitment in the future.
In this issue:
Dr Stephen Ash warns of the global problem of hepatitis C, ever increasing in the UK, and suggests how GPwSIs in gastroenterology, drug dependency and infections could make a difference, as treatments for this chronic condition move out into primary care.
Dr Neill Hepburn describes the valuable role a GPwSI can play in the field of dermatology, offering practical tips for referral pathways and monitoring of the service.
The importance of cardiac rehabilitation is highlighted in our final article, as the innovative Southampton cardiac team describe their local model, and how their coronary heart disease patients have been benefiting.
Dr Alexander Watson
Professor Ram Dhillon
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