Introduction The management of liver disease in primary care often lacks consistency and clearly defined care pathways. We aimed to explore GP perspectives on the management of liver disease in the Hull and East Riding of Yorkshire region.
Methods A 9 question survey was sent to 321 GPs in Hull and East Riding of Yorkshire focusing on knowledge, practise and support requirements of liver disease management in primary care. 105 GPs (33%) responded: 26% from NHS Hull and 39% from NHS East Riding
Results GPs saw patients with a variety of liver diseases. Most common were lifestyle-related.
Graph 1 – Liver diseases seen by GPs very often, often or sometimes
GPs graded the importance of a range of liver investigations in primary care.
Graph 2 – The degree to which GPs felt liver investigations were important in the clinical management of liver disease in primary care.
For investigations that GPs graded as ‘Very Important and Essential’ many were not, in ‘real-life’ primary care practise, documented in patient records (Williams et. al. 2012).
Graph 3 – The degree to which potential barriers might influence GP capacity to manage liver disease in primary care.
Only 6% of GPs stated they had a ‘special interest’ in liver disease and no GP stated that someone else in the practise took the lead on liver disease.
Graph 4 – Reasons for GPs not having a ‘special interest’ in liver disease
However, as ’generalists’, 83% of GPs felt they needed more educational support via protected learning sessions, improved national guidelines and joint specialist-GP clinics.
Conclusion This survey revealed that many GPs, despite not having a ‘special interest’ in liver disease, would welcome greater educational support from specialists and improved national guidelines. The barriers most cited as influencing GP capacity to manage liver disease are surmountable and should be the focal point for new integrated care pathways.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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