Continuity of care

Continuity of care

Health outcomes and cost-effectiveness of health care are improved by good primary care when it is delivered by GPs working in multidisciplinary teams. Primary care should be local, accessible and familiar. In this paper we discuss the evidence that the key to effective care is the relationship between clinician and patient, the therapeutic relationship. Its power was recognised by the earliest physicians. It implies more than technical skill. It involves palpable caring as shown by compassion and commitment. It is the trust that the patient has in his or her physician that underpins the power of the relationship. This trust becomes stronger over time as the doctor and patient grow to know each other better through experience.

As part of our commitment to continuity of care the RCGP has produced a 'Continuity of Care Toolkit' for use by GPs.

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