What proportion of adult allergy referrals to secondary care could be dealt with in primary care by a GP with special interest?

Smith, H E, Wade, J and Frew, A J (2016) What proportion of adult allergy referrals to secondary care could be dealt with in primary care by a GP with special interest? Clinical and Translational Allergy, 6 (3). ISSN 2045-7022

[img] PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB)

Abstract

Background: The concept of a General Practitioner with Special Interest (GPwSI) was first proposed in the 2000 National Health Service Plan, as a way of providing specialised treatment closer to the patient’s home and reducing hospital waiting times. Given the patchy and inadequate provision of allergy services in the UK the introduction of GPwSIs might reduce the pressure on existing specialist services. Objectives: This study assessed what proportion of referrals to a specialist allergy clinic could be managed in a GPwSI allergy service with a predefined range of facilities and expertise (accurate diagnosis and management of allergy; skin prick testing; provision of advice on allergen avoidance; ability to assess suitability for desensitisation). Methods: 100 consecutive GP referrals to a hospital allergy clinic were reviewed to determine whether patients could be seen in a community-based clinic led by a general practitioner with special interest (GPwSI) allergy. The documentation relating to each referral was independently assessed by three allergy specialists. The referrals were judged initially on the referral letter alone and then re-assessed with the benefit of information summarised in the clinic letter, to determine whether appropriate triage decisions could be made prospectively. The proportion of referrals suitable for a GPwSI was calculated and their referral characteristics identified. Results: 29 % referrals were judged unanimously appropriate for management by a GPwSI and an additional 30 % by 2 of the 3 reviewers. 18 % referrals were unsuitable for a GPwSI service because of the complexity of the presenting problem, patient co-morbidity or the need for specialist knowledge or facilities. Conclusions and clinical relevance: At least a quarter, and possibly half, of allergy referrals to our hospital-based service could be dealt with in a GPwSI clinic, thereby diversifying the patient pathway, allowing specialist services to focus on more complex cases and reducing the waiting time for first appointments.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Allergy, GP with special interest, Referral letter, Commissioning, Adult patients
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Brighton and Sussex Medical School
Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Primary Care and Public Health
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Depositing User: Jane Hale
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2016 12:27
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 05:13
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/59407

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update