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Hundreds of GPs volunteer to help NHS 111 in their spare time

The number of GPs volunteering their spare time to help NHS 111 manage calls has doubled overnight. 

The appeal, known as ‘TeamGPvCovid-19’ has successfully recruited over 550 volunteers since the suggestion first surfaced on social media two days ago.

It comes as yesterday, health secretary Matt Hancock announced that the NHS would need to mobilise 250 000 volunteers to help deal with demand on the health care system caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The aim of the ‘TeamGP’ initiative is to build a list of willing GP volunteers who could take the pressure off 111 by responding to calls from their own patients. The GPs will be dedicating time to speak to patients after their regular surgery shifts.

Dr Simon Hodes, a GP from Watford, is behind the idea and has been working with Dr Kit Latham, a former A&E doctor and founder of digital health care company, Credeintially, to set up the scheme.

Dr Latham said: ‘The country is facing an unprecedented challenge, and people are doing whatever they can to help.

'We want to offer our tech in service to anyone who is trying to build an emergency healthcare workforce of volunteers, so they can start working as quickly as possible.

'We are asking any GP that has a spare hour to sign up and join the fight against the virus.’

One GP who has volunteered for the scheme, who asked to remain anonymous, stated: ‘I feel that we currently have some potential capacity in primary care and I would like to help divert all patients possible from using frontline services either at the hospital or 111.’ 

Any GP in the UK can now sign up to volunteer to help NHS 111 via www.TeamGPvCovid.co.uk

 

Readers' comments (2)

  • Cobblers

    The www.TeamGPvCovid.co.uk link sends you to https://teamgpvcovid19.credentially.io/signup

    WEbpage not optimised for Firefox.

    Who are these 'Credentially' jokers?

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  • I don’t know if this is insensitive. But GPs are about to come under huge strain. Their workforce is being depleted by self isolators, many staff are having to work from home or be shielded. There is about to be an explosion of ill health in the community. Some CCGs are asking GP surgeries to stay open unpaid for the Easter bank holidays (partners footing the practice running costs). Partners may need to reduce drawings to cover extra staff costs. And GPs are asked to volunteer their spare time (as if they are not stressed enough and working enough?). This crisis cannot be a time to ask more of GPs for less. Carrying on down that road will only worsen the recruitment crisis. Support practices, pay GPs for their time, and show them they are valued. Registrars are looking on and deciding whether to stay in the profession, whether to sign up as partners. We need to see that GPs are valued and looked after through this. Please don’t take the piss.

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