General practitioners lack important information for patient care

Hespe said GPs often had to follow up on documents with hospitals, resulting in delayed care.


“They then have a double whammy where they don’t know they need to see someone for follow-up, and then that person … ends up going back to the hospital too,” she said.

A GP visit within two days of being discharged from an unplanned hospital stay can result in 32 per cent fewer readmissions within the first week, according to the RACGP analysis of NSW Health Data.

Emergency workers often send a discharge summary directly to the patient’s nominated GP or geriatric nurse, said Dr. Stephen Gourley, President-elect of the Australian College of Emergency Medicine.

Gourley said emergency departments across NSW were under extreme pressure but most were striving to provide the patient or their appointed GP with a summary of the discharge within 24 hours of leaving the hospital.

“Staff are doing their best to ensure safe supplies in increasingly challenging and crowded environments,” he said. “These pressures are felt more strongly in rural, regional and remote parts of NSW.”

A spokesman for NSW Health said not every patient discharged from the ER requires a formal written discharge letter, “particularly when further care from another healthcare professional, such as a nurse, is required. B. a family doctor, is required”.

“However, information should be given to the patient that adequately describes any follow-up treatment that is required.”

BHI Managing Director Dr. Diane Watson said the survey was conducted when health services and staff were administering the Delta and Omicron waves, “which may have impacted caregiving experiences.”


For most other questions asked, there was not much difference between rural and urban respondents.

Patients expressed slightly less optimism about their experience than in the previous 2020-21 survey, but responses to most questions remained positive overall.

About two-thirds (65 percent) rated emergency department staff as “very good,” and 61 percent of respondents statewide gave the same answer to describe their overall care.

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Justin Scaccy

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