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Advice on good communication between practices and hospitals published

17 October 2007

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A new paper presents a number of suggestions to improve two-way communication between primary and secondary care practitioners, for the benefit of patients.

The General Practitioners Committee (GPC) of the British Medical Association (BMA), together with the Central Consultants and Specialists Committee (CCSC), has published Improving Communication, the Exchange of Information and Patient Care – suggested guidelines for secondary care doctors and GPs.

The paper makes recommendations with regards to:

  • Outpatient letters and discharge information.
  • Data exchange.
  • Patient results, and relaying these.
  • Arranging follow-up appointments.
  • Patient letters.
  • Referrals and prescribing.

The paper also gives suggestions to GPs about communicating with hospital doctors regarding patient information, and what they should provide.

The BMA says that the feasibility of implementing the proposals, if they are not already in place, will depend on local agreements and protocols.