GP appointments changes seeks to end 8am scramble to get to see doctor

Health / Mon 8th May 2023 at 02:07pm

PATIENTS across England will be promised quicker and easier access to their GP as part of a major overhaul of primary care, the Government and NHS will announce this week reports The i

Practices will be given £240m this year to upgrade their phone systems bringing an end to people constantly getting an engaged tone in the mornings as soon as surgeries open or being told to call back later.

If their need is urgent, they will be assessed and given appointments on the same day. If it is not urgent, appointments should be offered within two weeks, or patients will be referred to NHS 111 or a local pharmacy. The phone system will also be integrated with the clinical systems so practice staff can quickly identify patients and their information from phone numbers.

Receptionists will also have an expanded role, with the Government funding 6,500 “care navigator” training places. Their job will be to make sure patients are directed to the most suitable healthcare professional and to simplify and streamline the process, Health and Social Care Secretary, Steve Barclay, will announce.

They can help make sure those who want to see a named GP or preferred member of staff can do while those who are happy to see a duty doctor can take that option. Care navigators will direct patients to other professionals within the general practice or other medical professionals such as community pharmacists who can best meet the needs of the patients.

Successful care navigation can help direct 40 per cent of requests more effectively and speeds up appointments for those who need them, ministers believe. The move comes as satisfaction levels with the NHS are at record lows. Just 55 per cent of patients were satisfied with the appointment times available to them last year, according to the GP Survey 2022, a decrease of almost 12 percentage points compared with the previous year.

Mr Barclay said the Government is making “real progress” in its promise to cut waiting times with 10 per cent more GP appointments happening every month compared to before the pandemic.

He said: “I want to make sure people receive the right support when they contact their general practice and bring an end to the 8am scramble for appointments. To do this we are improving technology and reducing bureaucracy, increasing staffing and changing the way primary care services are provided.”

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6 Comments for GP appointments changes seeks to end 8am scramble to get to see doctor:

2023-05-08 14:46:46

A bit late to acknowledge such a major problem. However, there is a saying "the proof of the pudding is in the eating", so we wait to see if it is merely hopeful talk alone! [As that is the case so often with politicians.]

2023-05-08 16:26:29

Funding isn't a problem to update the telephone/appointment system but would it not be better to have more doctors? And as much as I have no choice I strongly object to telling a receptionist why I need to see a doctor. It is between my+my doctor- confidential.

Trevor PYLE
2023-05-09 12:42:15

Being told more quickly that you will still have to wait 2 weeks to see your GP becuasw there is an acute shortage of doctors is excellent news! Let's go back to 2015 when the government promised 5000 new GPs. Then in 2019 they promised 6000 new GPs. Today there are 2000 let fully qualified GPs than there were in 2015! And as the sewers in PAH collapse any news on our fantastic new hospital? None seems to be forthcoming.

2023-05-10 10:34:34

I am with you there Jean. Confidential. IS Key. if you need to see a doctor. You should not need to tell anyone why. it's between you and the doctor. doctors need to know there patients. and face to face is the only way to do this 🤔

Luke Burton
2023-05-10 14:17:29

I have lived around the country and the best practices I've seen have a comprehensive online booking system to allow people to book appointments day and night. This frees up receptionists to help those who cannot access online services or have more complex asks.

2023-05-10 22:57:41

Having a kidney infection for 2 weeks and being told nothing drs can do it’s rubbish. They can ask for a urine sample to been taken to drs straight away. Receptionist was so rude she said nothing they can do on numerous times it. went through 111 over 18 hours waited for call back. Pharmacy wouldn’t help as it’s gone kidneys. Took sample down off my own back,ladie I see said she would get it tested today and someone will ring me back today. She was lovely What shocker got call next and they apologized as I should been rang day before antibiotics. As it serious infection. What a joke. They need to work out the population of Harlow that’s going to be hell of lot bigger but drs or dentists haven’t got any froom. the lack staff. The practices can’t not help people if they haven’t got more Staff and Doctors. It’s a bloody joke. Maybe use your heads and employ extra staff and what is the reason drs can’t go back to normal hours.. 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️

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