Support for GPs

The NHS landscape is changing with a shift towards community based diagnostic services. The drivers steering this new direction in service delivery include clinical, political, financial and technological.

Procedures that could once only take place in hospital can now take place in the community.

Our Health, Our Care, Our Say: A New Direction for Community Services DH White Paper Jan 2006

Furthermore, transforming the provision of community services is considered to be a top priority for the NHS in terms of improving quality and efficiency.

Local service provision will be further developed in a new primary care commissioning environment. The new commissioning system led by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) is likely to transform primary care for years to come. There is a clear ambition for CCGs to be fully authorised by 2013 and allow for improved local primary care provision.

There is also a desire to extend greater choice for patients. In the Operating Framework for the NHS in England 2011/12, it states:

‘Patients should be offered greater choice in diagnostic testing.’

One such procedure that is becoming more widespread within the primary care setting is standard adult transthoracic echocardiography (Echo), where the benefits of prompt, convenient patient-centred access have been clearly demonstrated.

Alongside the benefits of community echo services, also come new challenges including the requirement for General Practitioners to interpret results and take the appropriate action.

Echotech fully supports this important requirement by providing free of charge educational resources including training seminars and GP Echo handbook.