UK extends special roles of primary care:
This article was originally published in Clinica
The UK Department of Health has gone a step further in encouraging the primary care sector to extend the range of diagnostic and therapeutic activities it performs, with the publication yesterday (April 24 2003) of guidance on how general practitioners and nurses can take on extended roles. A guide for GPs with special interests (GPSI) covers 10 topics, including endoscopy, emergency care, respiratory disease and sexual health. This GPSI programme, launched in 2002, already covers other areas of care, including orthopaedics, cardiology, diabetes and urology. A separate guide for nurses covers areas such as heart failure and diabetes. By 2004, some 1,000 GPs are expected to take on special interest roles; some 650 GPs have already done so. At the end of 2001, some 600,000 procedures formerly carried out in hospitals were performed by primary care staff.