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The waiting game

GPs to offer 30 minute consultations in new pilot

A number of Scottish patients are being offered 30 to 40-minute GP consultations as part of a new pilot project costing almost £300,000.

The trial will see GPs being recruited to a busy GP surgery covering a deprived area of Glasgow, and will be studied by a team of researchers at the University of Glasgow to measure its impact on hospital admissions.

The Scottish Government has agreed to fund the three-year pilot which will see the Govan Health Centre in south Glasgow give special attention to its most vulnerable patients, including not just longer appointments but also monthly meetings between GPs, hospital consultants and social services to discuss their care.

Having launched in April, the pilot is costing £290,000 in its first year with some of that paying for two extra GPs now working at the practice.

Dr John Montgomery, a GP at the practice and the project leader, told the Herald newspaper that the extra funding has helped free up time to manage vulnerable patients.

He said: ‘We have developed a model where we identify patients who frequently attend one of the practices or hospital emergency departments and now tailor a healthcare package to best meet their needs.’

The news comes as a BMA survey of nearly 16,000 grassroots GPs found that more than 90% think the standard 10-minute consultation time slots are ‘inadequate’ and that longer consultations should be prioritised over rapid access to appointments.

Readers' comments (12)

  • Can I please volunteer for this?
    Only concern is, what happens to my appointment waiting list when patients have to wait significantly longer for appointments. Shouldn't care really, but I still do. So what's the solution?

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  • I predict a 'Newer Deal for GPs':

    1. 30 mins appointments for all!
    2. 1p / patient to implement this!
    3. An advertising campaign - 'why I love 30minute appointments for my 2 session a week career'.

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  • Sounds great; just need a few extra hours in the day - 50 patients per day * 30 minutes.

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  • this would work perfect if the patients have to pay for appointment ;No DNA's and good patient satisfaction.
    Jeremy will also be happy .

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  • @ 10.20

    They do pay. Well some of them do anyway through their taxes. It's just that they don't pay anything like the amount to cover what they are getting.

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  • Boils down to the same thing,more GPs needed.

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  • Longer appointments means fewer appointments so patients that can't get an appointment will go to a and e.

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  • @ 11.04

    It boils down to funding healthcare properly. At present the failure of government and medical professions to propose a model with adequate funding (through increased taxation, co-payments and / or insurance) is pushing GPs to work beyond sensible limits and patients to be treated in understaffed unsafe hospitals. There aren't and will not be enough GPs and healthcare workers to support the system as the system is abusing them and they are leaving by emigrating where they are better valued, retiring or quitting.

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  • Some patients need 30-40min appointments, some need 2min appointments and some need to be told "YOUR NAN CAN SORT YOU OUT".
    Government drive to educate patients please you sleazy politicians.

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  • Could one of you clever GPs out there please tell me what problem is being addressed? Lots of ££££ for effects (symptoms) but nothing for causes.

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