Standards of access and quality in primary care

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This paper reviews recent changes in the provision and organization of primary care in the UK. Access and availability are of prime importance to patients, particularly when medical care is sought urgently, and are therefore important elements of quality. The paper also discusses the possible impact of further changes in the delivery of primary care, including overlapping responsibilities of general practice and accident and emergency (A&E) departments and the role of NHS Direct, a telephone advice service.

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