NHS health checks fail to improve odds

James Dean reports in The Times 29th September 2014: NHS health checks fail to improve odds


Something all GPs are aware of, and it looks as if the shortage of GPs in training allied with the early retirees and leavers mean GPs will become rare as hen’s teeth. This is good news and we should spend elsewhere… and ration screening out wherever it is questionable… How about mammography and cervical smears being paid for at cost by all except those on benefits?

 Paul Myers describes our skills as “skilled diagnostic assessment and holistic management of multifactorial and undifferentiated problems” (RCGP Wales Update newsletter: Message from the Chair). He is correct: an accurate diagnosis in physical, social and psychological terms was the old parlance, but as populations get older they get many diseases in the one person; hence the complexity. Any time spent on doing other than diagnostic assessment should always be questioned – and chronic disease management, the cost of which accounts for much of the expenditure on GP, could be reduced by divesting this aspect in simple cases.

This entry was posted in A Personal View, Good News, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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