An Argument to Give Family Physicians / GPs a Larger Role in Hospital Care

This article in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests a larger role for family physicians / GPs in hospital care.[1] It suggests that they should do rotations in which they work on the hospital staff. Alternatively, they should join ward rounds or visit patients in hospital. The suggested advantages are two-fold. Firstly, family doctors could influence care (for the better!) by advising hospital staff. Secondly, this contact would facilitate a smooth transition to the community after discharge. Aware of time constraints, they suggest virtual visits to the hospital through teleconferencing. The CLAHRC WM Director remains sceptical. Such an expanded hospital role for family doctors will be time-consuming even with teleconferencing, and the opportunity costs are not considered in the article.

— Richard Lilford, CLAHRC WM Director


  1. Goroll AH, & Hunt DP. Bridging the Hospitalist­–Primary Care Divide through Collaborative Care. N Engl J Med. 2015; 372(4): 308-9.

One thought on “An Argument to Give Family Physicians / GPs a Larger Role in Hospital Care”

  1. On the article from NEJM stating that GPs should also spend time working in hospital settings.

    I can confirm that my GP does already take this dual role. Dr Mulligan of Alrewas Surgery works as a general physician. On a recent trip to Burton Hospital A&E department with my daughter I saw him also attending A&E clinic which seemed to me to be a suitable place for a GP to attend as much the same as GP you will receive a wide range of patients for primary care. Maybe all GPs should assist in A&E departments? I can’t say too much about my GPs background but he does originate from New Zealand so I wonder if his medical training has been different to UK setting – over to Dr Celia Taylor on this point…

    BW Nathalie Maillard, Head of Programme Delivery

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