Intended for healthcare professionals


Seven days in medicine: 6-12 April

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: (Published 14 April 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i2100

General practice

Only a third of patients need to see a GP

General practitioners currently take around two thirds of the 372 million appointments made at general practice surgeries in England every year, but they and other experts, interviewed by the public services think tank Reform, said that around half of these appointments could be taken by nurses and other clinicians. The report added that the government’s target of recruiting an extra 5000 GPs should be abandoned and that bigger practices and new technology could deliver better access and avoid millions of unnecessary visits to emergency departments (see the full BMJ story at doi:10.1136/bmj.i2082).

GPs should take regular breaks like lorry drivers, RCGP says

The Royal College of General Practitioners in London, UK, launched a campaign emphasising the importance of regular breaks for general practitioners and other practice staff. The college said that rules for preventing fatigue in pilots and train drivers should also apply to GPs in their surgeries. It sent posters to every surgery in the country, saying “Your safety should always come first” and “A rested GP is a safer GP.” (See


Protocols, not bigger units, will improve surgical outcomes

The move to centralised services in emergency general surgery would not improve outcomes or …

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