General practitioners with special interests–not a cheap option

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 15 December 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:1448
  1. Martin Roland (, director1
  1. 1 National Primary Care Research and Development Centre, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL

    General practitioners with a special interest are general practitioners with special experience or training that enables them to take referrals which would normally be seen by specialists. The training of a new cadre of general practitioners with special interest was a key part of the UK government's 2000 NHS Plan.

    Are general practitioners with special interests likely to be an effective and cost effective way of providing care? A randomised controlled trial by Salisbury et al and an economic evaluation by Coast et al provide some answers.1 2 The results show that in dermatology a general practitioner with special interest service was effective: patients were seen more quickly, were more satisfied, and had similar clinical …

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