GPs to do more minor ops16th October 2006
Patients could soon be able to pop down to their local surgery for minor operations and tests, instead of facing the trauma of a hospital stay as part of new plans.
A total of 30 schemes are set to pilot GPs, consultants and nurses carrying out minor operations, like hernia repairs, varicose vein repairs and a range of diagnostic testing in local health centres. If successful the scheme could see millions of operations take place in GP surgeries every year.
As cutting edge techniques and technology allow more and more operations to be carried out as day surgery, operations which used to require days in hospital can now be carried out at a health centre.
GPs will undergo training, while many already have some experience at performing minor operations. The pilot will also try consultant-led clinics at community health centres, nurse-led services and follow-up services for outpatients provided by telephone.
The pilot is responding to patients indicating there preference to be treated closer to home, say the government, which has pledged to provide patients with the care they need, in the right place, carried out by the appropriate skilled professional. Areas likely to come closer to home include orthopaedics, ear, nose and throat, dermatology, urology, general surgery and gynaecology.
The pilot has been welcomed by the Royal College of General Practitioners, which believes GPs are well placed to provide additional care to patients.
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