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Cut a quarter of GP appointments with coordination

Cut a quarter of GP appointments with coordination

Up to 27% of GP appointments could potentially be avoided if there was more coordination between practices and hospitals, according to an NHS Alliance report
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Up to 27% of GP appointments could potentially be avoided if there was more coordination between practices and hospitals, according to a report from NHS Alliance and the Primary Care Foundation.

If family doctors didn't spend time rearranging hospital appointments, and chasing up test results from local hospitals a “significant amount of GP time” could be freed up (4.5% of appointments in the study, an estimated 15 million appointments if repeated across England).

To cut bureaucracy in practices, the report recommended that patients who are unable to attend a hospital appointment should be able to re-book within two weeks without going back to the GP, and that NHS England should work with doctors to streamline communication, particularly between hospitals and practices, and reduce the workload of processing information within practices.

It also recommended that GP federations should be funded to work across their practices “to build practical social prescribing projects that offer real alternatives to taking up GP time with patients whose needs can be better met by other kinds of support in the wider community”.

Finally it suggested that practices should employ a wider range of staff, and should free up time for GPs to think through how they can work differently, learning the lessons from the PM’s Challenge Fund sites and the Vanguard sites as they become available.

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