Headlines: April 25th, 2006

Hospital doctors and General Practitioners say they are keen to develop new models of healthcare with generalists and specialists working together for the benefit of NHS patients. A joint statement is being issued today by the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Royal College of Physicians looking at how that closer working can come about.The statement , ‘Making the best use of doctors’ skills – a balanced partnership’ has been produced following the health and social care White Paper ‘Our health, our care, our say’. The White Paper proposed the reshaping of the Health Service with care being moved out of acute hospitals and into the community where that is appropriate.

The doctors’ statement looks at the key issues and principles that would support what they call “a much needed strengthening of the interface between primary and secondary care.” It covers professional partnerships of doctors in primary and secondary care, organisation to provide accessible and high quality care in convenient settings, ways to ensure the quality and safety of care in new models and reducing health inequalities and supplying and educating the future workforce.

Dr Mayur Lakhani, Chairman of Council of the Royal College of GPs said, “This statement offers a blueprint for driving up standards and developing new services. Both specialists and generalists are determined to work together and this statement is a commitment to make things even better for patients by offering a new model of working.”

Professor Dame Carol Black, President of the RCP, said they were aware from their own patient and carer network, that patients wanted care closer to home with access to specialist advice when it was needed. “We are keen to develop new models of healthcare which meet the wishes of patients and make the best use of doctor’s professional skills,” she added.