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Post-op checks to be scrapped

29th December 2006

13122006_ped_congenital_heart_surgery.jpgRoutine post operative check ups on patients six weeks after their surgery could be scrapped as part of efforts to save almost £2bn a year.

The proposals from Primary Care tsar Dr David Colin-Thomé suggest patients could instead opt to see their GP or practice nurse, or alternatively decide they do not need to be seen.

Already many patients choose to see their GP with any concerns following surgery, rather than wait for a six-week check up with their consultant, he said.

The proposal would free up ‘precious’ consultant time enabling them to carry out more surgery and shorten waiting times and meet targets.

In his report, due to be published in January, Dr Colin Thomé, said one in 10 patients fail to turn up for their post-op check up. More than four million appointments were missed last year, costing the NHS £378m.

The government says the change could save £1.9bn a year.

Under the plans, consultants could choose to follow up patients they were concerned about, or who had high risk of complications.

The move has been met with concerns from campaigners who believe it could compromise continuity of care – potentially putting patient lives at risk.

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Article Information

Title: Post-op checks to be scrapped
Author: Laura E
Article Id: 1546
Date Added: 29th Dec 2006

Sources

BBC News

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