Continuity of primary care matters and should be protectedBMJ 2017; 356 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j373 (Published 01 February 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j373
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While the sentiment is good, explanations based on flawed evidence are suspect. The alleged "recent" policy of having a named GP was set up by Bevan who established a named GP as a cornerstone of the new National Health Service and repealed by Tony Blair in his pseudosocialist revolution when Invividual GP lists were amalgamated into corporate lists held by organisations that initially were GP controlled but have become open to commercialisation. The author confuses "UK" policy (controlled by Westminster) with "English" (also controlled by Westminster) when referring to policies that do not apply in all the developed administrations. Despite devolution, continuity of care has been sacrificed on the altar of convenience by politicians who seek to buy future votes with the power they hold today.
Thankfully the source data has not been subject to the inaccuracies of this comentator and so can stand alone as a demonstration that continuity of care in General Practice is not only good for patients but also for secondary car services.
Perhaps there is hope for me and my fellow dinosaurs that, whereas secondary care specialises in diseases occurring in their patients, we GPs specialise in caring for the patients who suffer from diseases.
Perhaps a Health Minister able to see beyond the next election or reshuffle might seek to trust the electorate by restoring the administrative relationship with each patient and a named GP responsible for all their medical care: according to the evidence this might also save some money!
Competing interests: "My" former patients are now cared for by my former partners who the Blair reforms reallocated to the partnership and permitted my expulsion on non-clinical grounds by those whose business was then enhanced by retention of patients who had neither information nor choice. I am a former Comservative Parliamentary Candidate and contributed in the past to BMA policy; I accept responsibility for permitting the Blair "buyout" of the GP list system.