Do enhanced service schemes work?

A six-year College project to evaluate the effectiveness of enhanced service schemes is ending. Acuity speaks to its co-principal investigator Dr Robert Harper FCOptom

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Extended primary care services, or enhanced service schemes (ESS), have sprung up across England. Potential advantages include patients being seen more quickly, reduced pressure on GP appointments, fewer inappropriate referrals into secondary care and lower demand for hospital eye services – but the evidence of these hoped-for impacts has been lacking.

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