Department of Health and Social Care
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New scheme to improve quality and convenience of care closer to home

New scheme to improve quality and convenience of care closer to home

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH News Release (2007/0097) issued by The Government News Network on 26 April 2007

Accreditation process for GPs and Pharmacists with Special Interests

Health Minister Andy Burnham today published new guidance to help health bodies and practitioners deliver high quality convenient care closer to people's homes.

Under government plans, GPs and Pharmacists with special interests will need to go through a new rigorous and fair form of accreditation to ensure they have the necessary skills to deliver efficient and effective patient care in the community that was traditionally only available in hospitals.

By shifting services in this way, patients will wait less time and have shorter journeys for treatment, as well as having a greater choice and convenience about when and where they are treated.

Today's guidance, Implementing care closer to home - convenient quality care for patients, provides practical support to NHS commissioners for the provision of more specialised services delivered by PwSIs. It includes:

- an introduction to shifting services into the community;

- a step by step guide on the issues for consideration when redesigning patient care using PwSIs; and

- a new nationally recognised accreditation process for GPs and Pharmacists with special interests that can be delivered locally to ensure services and the individuals working within them are underpinned by excellent clinical governance.

Launching the guidance at a workshop in London, Health Minister Andy Burnham said:

"As part of the recent white paper listening exercise, patients told us that they wanted health services to be delivered closer to home. Thanks to advances in technology and medicine, it is now possible to provide increasing amounts of specialist services in more local and convenient settings.

"Practitioners with Special Interests, as well as other health professionals, all have a key role to play in delivering these services - taking the pressure off acute hospitals and providing high quality care to patients."

David Colin-Thome, the National Director for Primary care added:

"By introducing this new accreditation process our aim is to ensure GPs and Pharmacists with Special Interests and the services in which they work are safe, of a high quality and improve the patient experience and health outcomes in the communities in which they are located."

Professor Mayur Lakhani, Chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners and a practising GP, said:

"We support and welcome this initiative - the RCGP has long called for a system of standard setting and accreditation and this will help patient care, and support PCTs and practitioners."


Notes to Editors

1. The guidance, Closer to Home - Convenient Quality Care for Patients, is available on the DH website,

2. A series of free half day regional workshops are being held for NHS staff to find out more about the new guidance. The first one takes place in London today (26th April) and others will be held on:

- Wednesday 9th May - Manchester

- Friday 25th May - Birmingham

For more details or to reserve a place, contact:

3. PCTs are now reporting over 1750 GPwSIs working in the NHS.


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