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Polyclinics will negatively affect patient-clinician relationships

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Polyclinics and super-surgeries may damage patient-clinician relations, according to a study at Leicester University.

Around 280 patients were surveyed on their experiences of GP contact, with regards to trust, interpersonal care and continuity. Additionally, 20 of the patients and 12 GPs were interviewed in more detail, with results showing that continuity in treatment from the same clinician was highly valued.

Patients will rarely have the opportunity to see the same clinician when visiting polyclinics or super-surgeries, the report concluded, and this is likely to undermine trust and cooperation between patients and their clinicians.

Researcher Dr Carolyn Tarrant said the new clinics would bring some benefits but holds reservations about their impact on patients relations with primary care staff.

She said the new integrated clinics were ‘bound to reduce continuity of care and our research shows that this may lead to a decline in patient trust'.

‘If patient trust declines, then medical outcomes may be adversely affected,’ she added.

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