General practice registrars see fewer older patients with chronic disease than established general practitioners (GPs). Furthermore, registrars have fewer opportunities to be involved in continuity of care for older patients.
The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of general practice supervisors and registrars when providing in-practice care for older patients with chronic disease.
Three focus groups and 21 interviews (18 supervisors, 17 registrars) were conducted, recorded and transcribed. The main themes were derived using thematic analysis.
Three main themes were reported: context influences registrars’ exposure to older patients; opportunities for continuity of care need ongoing negotiation and communication; registrars are competent – trust and confidence follows.
Developing tailored models of shared patient care that suit different practices and supervisors will require ongoing negotiation and communication. This study confirms the need to enhance exposure for general practice registrars in ways that build on the competence of registrars and the trust in registrars by older patients and supervisors.