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NHS Digital to reduce NHS 111 admin for GPs

NHS Digital to reduce NHS 111 admin for GPs
By Caitlin Tilley
2 December 2021

NHS Digital is looking to improve 111 reports to ‘reduce the administrative burden on GP practices and improve the patient experience’.

The project, described in an NHS England primary care bulletin, involves engaging with GPs and GP administrative staff to ‘understand how clinical information from the NHS 111 reports… can be improved’.

On background, NHS Digital told Pulse the project would look at how GPs look at and act upon Post Event Messaging (PEM) documents sent from NHS 111 to practices after their patient has contacted NHS 111.

It said the goal is for the messages to contain more streamlined clinical information and reduce bureaucracy for practices. 

NHS Digital will interview GPs and GP administrators to understand what changes they would like to see, as part of initial research. Details of how to get involved can be found in the primary care bulletin.

The feedback will ‘form part of a wider NHS 111 improvement project to reduce the administrative burden for GP practices and improve the patient experience’, the bulletin said.

At the BMA’s annual England LMCs conference last week, GPs voted that ‘all direct NHS 111 bookings into NHS general practice are suspended’ where the practice has declared a “red alert” or equivalent’.

Another motion demanded that one and two hour dispositions from NHS 111 stop as ‘general practice is not an emergency service and cannot safely receive [them]’.

It comes as Sajid Javid told the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee last month that the Government would ‘be setting out more around our winter planning in terms of the pressures we see’, including ‘increasing the capacity of the 111 service’.

Meanwhile, the BMA warned that a new NHS England campaign promoting 111 online for urgent care will place extra burden on GPs this winter.

The campaign encourages the use of 111 online but says patients should still come forward to a pharmacist, GP or call 111 if they need urgent advice.

This story first appeared on our sister title, Pulse.

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