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General practitioners' workload in primary care led NHS

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 30 August 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:546

Workload for chronic disease management has increased substantially

  1. C D Helliwell, General practitionera,
  2. T A Carney, General practitionera
  1. a Burn Brae Medical Group, Hencotes, Hexham NE46 2ED
  2. b Gelli Deg, Penmaen, Swansea SA3 2HH
  3. c St Stephen's Surgery, Redditch, Worcestershire B97 4PS

    Editor—Lone Lund Pedersen and Brenda Leese suggest that general practitioners need to carry out far more evidence based research about their workload.1 Since 1990 the increased workload in general practice has been such that in this practice alone, and we believe elsewhere, research has taken a much lower priority than previously. We know that our workload has increased.

    The authors repeatedly refer to “shared care schemes for chronic disease management for diabetes and asthma.” Our work shows clearly that general practitioners care for patients with diabetes alone and that shared care and hospital care are both decreasing at a considerable rate. Our paper published in 1995 and referring to work in 1986 and 1991 clearly showed this trend.2 Audits carried out in 1994 and 1996 (1) show the increase in this phenomenon, with 62% of patients with diabetes now being cared for by their general practitioners alone.

    View this table:

    Providers of care for patients with diabetes in Tynedale, 1986-96.* Figures are numbers (percentages) of patients

    In Tynedale 1109 patients with diabetes are now receiving care from …

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