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NHS England kicks off programme to 'release 10%' of GP practice time

North East Staffordshire practices will be the first to be targeted by NHS England’s national programme to release 10% of GPs' time through the use of consultations via text, social prescribing and hiring of new staff such as physician associates

NHS England managers will be rolling out the first stage of the £30m 'Releasing Time for Patients’ scheme in the region over the next six to nine months, with practices invited to a first meeting next month.

The programme, announced as part of the GP Forward View, focuses on rolling out ten 'high impact actions' in practices, including group consultations, increasing the use of other healthcare professionals and reducing DNAs. 

The GP Forward View pledged the three-year programme would 'reach every practice in the country to free up to 10% of GPs' time'.

The invitation to GP practices in the region said that an NHS England 'sustainable improvement team' would work work with all local practices to 'review their business processes with a view to implementing change' with the team offering 'training and support'.

It said: 'North Staffordshire practices will be the first in the country to benefit from NHS England's offer to finance a series of activites to help support practices to achieve developing their own quality improvement expertise...

'This is an excellent opportuntiy for all practices to benefit from a specially tailored programme designed to support and enable them to make changes, which will improve efficiency, release time and aid future sustainability.'

NHS England's 10 High Impact Actions

  1. Active signposting - online portal and reception navigation
  2. New consultation types - telephone, e-consultations, text message, group consultations
  3. Reduce DNAs - easy cancellation, reminders, patient recording, read-back, reporting attendances, reduce 'just in case'
  4. Develop the team - advanced nurse practitioner, physician associates, pharmacists, medical assistants, paramedics, therapists
  5. Productive work flows - matching capacity and demand, efficient processes, productive environment
  6. Personal productivity - personal resilience, computer confidence, speed reading, touch typing
  7. Partnership working - productive federation, community pharmacy, specialists, community services
  8. Social prescribing - practice based navigators, external service
  9. Support self care - Prevention, acute episodes, long term conditions
  10. Develop QI expertise - leadership of change, process improvement, rapid cycle management, measurement

Source: NHS England's General Practice Forward View

Readers' comments (11)

  • What BS
    I need more money in my pocket so that I can cut down my sessions

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  • I have released 100% of my time. Leaving end of month. Retire or leave you know it makes sense. No one is going to sort this out.

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  • be interested to see what defense unions make of this.

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  • Hahahaha! Great ideas......free up time by adding to the ways that patients can contact their GP....which in turn will lead to a complete inability for anyone to self care for any condition as it will be far too easy to just email or text the GP for advice. I'd love to know how group consultations will work! Are they seriously suggesting computer confidence, speed reading and touch typing as solutions to the inexorable increase in workload? What a load of absolute codswallop.

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  • just goes to show quite how out of touch our dear leaders are - FIGHT THIS DAMNED THING!

    There is magically money for this, but not for recruitment or retention, or telling our dear public they need to back the hell up and hold some responsibility for their own lives and health

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  • Love the idea of "group consultations"...

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  • Neil Bhatia

    Your GP will see all of you, all at the same time, now...

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  • Newly qualified GP freeing my self from NHS....Australia bound as soon as visa and paperwork sorted!!

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  • £16 million for vulnerable practices but £30 million for this! Somebody is going to make a pretty penny - who? how did they get the contract?

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  • 1. Each doctor can only see one person at a time. Creating more modalities through which to contact that doctor won't help increase the overall amount of patient-doctor contact
    2. You can't see rashes via text, nor appreciate the overall demeanour/non-verbal communication/incidental signs that way
    3. I suspect non-face-to-face consultation is ultimately riskier than face to face ones. Who will pay for the mistakes and the elevated insurance costs?

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