Medical Evolution

Measures to improve the interface between primary and secondary care

June 29, 2023

The interface between primary and secondary care is the space of a growing volume and variety of activities for the NHS, ranging from referrals to specialist care, diagnostic testing and medicines management. An effective and efficient interface has never been more important, but new analysis from Policy Exchange finds the equivalent of 15 million GP appointments per year are spent dealing with issues in care management between GP practices and hospitals, creating frustration and patient safety issues Medical Evolution sets out twenty recommendations which seek to ensure that the interface is proactively managed in the future.

Measures proposed range from providing patients with greater transparency about referral decisions so they can ‘track’ who is responsible for their care to significantly enhancing communication capabilities between clinicians.

The report also calls for the development of hybrid doctor roles – ‘interface specialists’ – able to work more routinely across hospitals and GP practices and for a massive boost to research activity in primary care to deliver the latest treatments and technologies through a new “Academic Primary Care Accelerator”.

Related Publications


Dr David Landau

Senior Fellow

Dr Sean Phillips

Head of Health and Social Care

Join our mailing list