Consultants spend more time with each patient than in the past

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.311.6996.59b (Published 01 July 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:59
  1. Helene Irvine,
  2. Peter Scott
  1. Registrar in public health medicine Department of Public Health Medicine, Greater Glasgow Health Board, Glasgow G2 4JT
  2. Consultant geriatrician Department of Medicine for the Elderly, Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow G21 3UW

    EDITOR,--David Armstrong and Mick Nicoll's analysis of consultants' workload in outpatient clinics fails to address some important issues.1 Clearly, the routinely collected English statistics do suggest a decrease in the number of new and old patients seen per consultant per year. This aspect of the consultants' workload cannot, however, be accurately summarised on the basis of a single performance indicator or considered in isolation from other hospital duties.

    More obviously, medical technology has expanded exponentially since 1949. The number of …

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