GPs in Redbridge need more training and development in key areas, an appraisal scheme has shown.

The doctors were appraised by fellow practitioners and the assessment showed a need to have a better understanding of medical conditions including heart disease, respiratory illness and diabetes care.

It also showed a need for better computer, management and communication skills in GP practices.

Dr Ann O’Brien, medical director of NHS Redbridge, who is one of 22 appraisers who meet with GPs, said: “The appraisals are all about raising standards across the board and giving GPs the support they need to provide a better service.

“It is an opportunity for GPs to discuss and review their clinical practice with a suitably trained colleague.

“It’s an on-going process and one that is mutually beneficial to patients, GPs and the primary care trust who want people to receive the best possible care.”

The appraisal also highlighted other issues such as the need to support smaller practices during periods of illness or holiday.

It also showed that practices must improve communication with hospitals, as well as developing the role of specialist GPs and encouraging mentoring.