GP says that too many NHS treatments done more from habit than design

15 Jun 00
An expert on primary care has called for a radical reassessment of the worth of common clinical treatments, saying they should be subjected to rigorous testing and those judged ineffective withdrawn.

16 June 2000

The continued use of many was purely a question of habit, said Dr David Colin-Thomé, a practising GP and co-director of primary care for NHS London. Only 15% of treatments had been tested in randomised control trials, he added.

Speaking at the Public Management and Policy Association conference in Brighton on June 14, Colin-Thomé said: 'There is a real dearth of evidence-based clinical procedures around.'

He argued that better evaluation procedures should lead to a rethink of the treatments on offer and a redistribution of resources. But he acknowledged this was a radical proposal.

'We have to get the money out of inappropriate secondary care and there is huge cultural pressure against that.

'If you want to improve health then the Sure Start programme is a better way of investing money than in more doctors and nurses.'


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