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J R Soc Med. 1988 Apr;81(4):207-9.

The role of the hospital consultant in general practitioner prescribing.

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Aston University.


A questionnaire was designed and posted to 600 general medical practitioners in the West Midlands. The results indicated that the prescribers were reassured by the hospital consultant although independence was maintained in prescribing decisions. The hospital medical team was recognized for its expertise rather than the consultant alone. A table was constructed from the results to show the therapy areas in which doctors prefer to refer their patients. Consultant's influence in prescribing is most likely where communication between GP and consultant is optimal. The generalized influence of the consultant as implied by the Greenfield report remains unproven. Any influence is much more specific and may depend upon therapy area, the consultant specialty, and the standing of the hospital medical team. The innovativeness of the prescriber which was also considered may also have an influence as to how the consultant's recommendations will be accepted.

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