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'Types Of Practice'

  • Single handed GPs: these are usually found in rural areas (or alternatively in inner-city areas). About 10% of GPs are single handed.

  • Group practices: typically these range from two to six partners, working together as a small business. If your own GP is unavailable you can usually see one of the other partners.

  • Health centres: these house one or more group practices in premises owned by the health authority. They generally provide a wide range of services eg. health visitors, chiropodists, dental care. They may be more modern buildings with facilities for minor surgery on the premises.

  • Fundholding practices: under the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990 larger general practices (now those with over 5,000 patients) can apply to the NHS Executive to become fundholding practices. These practices have their own budgets to purchase diagnostic tests, out-patient and in-patient treatment, and medicines for their patients. Fundholding GPs are free to negotiate contracts with hospitals and other providers of health care wherever they choose, with the objective of increasing choice for GPs and patients.

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