Health promotion in primary care

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7027.324 (Published 10 February 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:324
  1. Stephen Gillam,
  2. Peter McCartney,
  3. Margaret Thorogood
  1. Consultant in public health medicine Directorate of Strategy and Public Health, Bedfordshire Health Authority, Luton LU1 2PL
  2. General practitioner and research fellow Senior lecturer Health Promotion Sciences Unit, Department of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT

    Even less coherent than before

    In his continuing drive to appease disillusioned and overworked general practitioners, Britain's secretary of state for health has made major concessions over the data on health promotion that general practitioners are required to record.1 The more than 120 items of data that were previously required have now been reduced to eight. The move will please those general practitioners who have objected to the “ritualistic collection of risk factors when the public health benefits are marginal,”2 but the reductions seem to have been driven more by the pressure to reduce paperwork than by a desire for effective disease prevention. In the absence of either a strategic or an evidence based approach to health promotion in primary care, many important items have been lost while others have been inappropriately retained.

    Under the new scheme, general practitioners are being asked to record the number of patients in …

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