Safety of community-based minor surgery performed by GPs: An audit in different settings
Botting J., Correa A., Duffy J., Jones S., De Lusignan S.
© 2016 British Journal of General Practice. Background Minor surgery is a well-established part of family practice, but its safety and costeffectiveness have been called into question. Aim To audit the performance of GP minor surgeons in three different settings. Design and setting A community-based surgery audit of GP minor surgery cases and outcomes from three settings: GPs who carried out minor surgery in their practice funded as enhanced (primary care) services (ESGPs); GPs with a special interest (GPwSIs) who worked independently within a healthcare organisation; and GPs working under acute trust governance (Model 2 GPs). Method An audit form was completed by volunteer GP minor surgeons. Data were collected about areas of interest and aggregated data tables produced. Percentages were calculated with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and significant differences across the three groups of GPs tested using the χ2 test. Results A total of 6138 procedures were conducted, with 41% (2498; 95% CI = 39.5 to 41.9) of GP minor surgery procedures being on the head/face. Nearly all of the samples from a procedure that were expected to be sent to histology were sent (5344; 88.8%; 95% CI = 88.0 to 89.6). Malignant diagnosis was correct in 69% (33; 95% CI = 54.2 to 79.2) of cases for ESGPs, 93% (293; 95% CI = 90.1 to 95.5) for GPwSIs, and 91% (282; 95% CI = 87.2 to 93.6) for Model 2 GPs. Incomplete excision was significantly more frequent for ESGPs (17%; 9; 95% CI = 7.5 to 28.3, P<0.001). Complication rates were very low across all practitioners. Conclusion GP minor surgery is safe and prompt. GPs working within a managed framework performed better. Consideration needs to be given on how better to support less wellsupervised GPs.