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So how long should a GP consultation take?

I’m not going to answer the question, because “should” implies a right answer. Consider only so far as the patient, the doctor, and the problem, and already the product of the variables is infinite.  Even though GPs successfully consult with patients millions of times every week, there is no way to specify a correct amount of […]

Quality in access and continuity - the patient view

The problem Year after year GPs are voted Britain’s most trusted profession, which speaks of the high quality of GP consultations in clinical terms.  While efforts are made to measure such quality, and it is of course crucial to the service, complaints are relatively rare as a proportion of interactions.  However, there is a continual stream […]

Continuity, myths and maths

“I can’t get to see my doctor any more” is one of the commonest patient complaints we hear.  The sense of loss of the family doctor echoes as much in Whitehall as in suburbia as Hunt attempts to recognise the value of continuity (though only so far for over 75s). At the same time structural […]

New measure: patientcentricity in primary care

Going forwards we need to integrate with the overarching direction of travel in the healthcare ecosystem, beyond merely how soon can you contact a doctor and do you have a choice of doctor. For years doctors have been trained just to do doctor things, but in the modernisated NHS they have a new obligation to […]

Variation, the dead giveaway of poor performance

One of the difficulties in trying to compare different bodies doing the same thing is that we don’t know what good is.  What is a good standard of timekeeping for trains?  The answer is rather different in Switzerland from Britain.  Theirs aren’t faster, just much closer to the stated time, which happens to be what […]

Putting Targets First

Sorry, NHS England, I know your 2013-14 business plan is called “Putting Patients First” but there seems to be a misunderstanding.  We’ve just learned from HSJ that Jeremy Hunt has called the 10 chief execs of hospitals who have the highest percentage of patients failing the 95% target to leave A&E within 4 hours. What’s […]

Continuity matters to GPs too

We hear lots about how patients value the relationship with their GP, and how often they find it difficult to get an appointment with their preferred GP.  Putting up with a long wait, often a week or two, may be acceptable but if the trade off is more anxiety then many will see someone else, […]

Access to GPs is not the same as opening hours

We are going to see a royal punch up over the GP hours proposal.  Yes, access to GPs is often difficult - if it’s not difficult for you, then ask some friends.  And yes, GPs work very hard and often long hours, and they really are more fed up than for a long time.  With […]

Why no inspection & failure regime can save NHS

We have a new robust inspection regime from today, and we’ve just had another list of failures, sorry “special measures”, for 11 unfortunate hospitals.  That leaves 93% of hospitals breathing a sigh of relief, and I’d bet a good 93% of the people in the 11 are doing a good job, feeling a lot worse […]

Clarendon case study wins poster prize at SAPC annual conference

  Over the last three days Nottingham has hosted the annual scientific meeting of the Society for Academic Primary Care. With 130 posters submitted, we were delighted to be awarded the poster prize.  Click on the link for the full version in pdf: Access & Continuity transform patient service in Salford GP Clarendon is in […]