Headlines: October 12th, 1999

Innovative schemes making up the Person Medical Services initiative are starting to change the traditional “waiting time” culture of the NHS. Services are being re-configured to reduce waiting times and to improve
access and convenience.

In addition to better processes for referring patients to hospital, which are being introduced nationally, the Personal Medical Services pilots are developing innovative schemes which cut across the existing culture. These include providing minor surgery on site and sifting referrals so that surgeons only see patients that require surgery. Although there is greater flexibility to adopt innovative measures in the pilots, all GPs and nurses in primary care groups are being urged to use their new influence to reshape services to benefit their patients.