Developing a secondary care centre in primary care – the Deptford Project

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Seamless care across sectors is the political strategy of the early 2000s. This paper discusses the evolution of a secondary care facility in primary care in a deprived area of south London. Consideration of the appropriate site for access of patients, its funding and the relevant partnerships took several months. Discussions between secondary and primary care shaped the provision of a women and children's facility, with supporting IT and telemedicine facilities, in a purpose-built portacabin next to a market street and swimming pool. An administrator, team of midwives, a gynaecology nurse and an obstetrician/gynaecologist provided midwifery, scanning, early pregnancy and other drop-in services at the centre. Despite publicity and communication with lead GPs, only 50% of local GPs were aware of the service but those who used it were satisfied. Patients found the service convenient and efficient. External evaluation reiterated these points but found the facility under-utilised, particularly in respect of telemedicine. Future planning will require secondary care trusts and primary care trusts to identify mutually agreed priority areas of medicine that require such services in primary care. Such facilities should provide a broader spectrum of services to make them cost-effective.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2001

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