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Independents' Day

GPs told to 'assess' treatment 'delays' and resume chronic disease care

Practices should assess where urgent and routine treatment has been delayed and ‘focus’ on resuming chronic disease treatment and prevention, NHS England has said.

GPs should also ‘proactively’ address health needs that have ‘gone unmet, increased or developed’ during the coronavirus pandemic such as mental health issues and health inequalities, it added.

The new guidance comes as part of the latest standard operating procedure for general practice that was published on Friday.

The document said: ‘Access to urgent care and routine care in general practice should be maintained for all patients, and practices should assess where care has been delayed over recent weeks and now needs to be restarted.

‘Practices should be focused on the restoration of routine chronic condition management and prevention wherever possible, including vaccination and immunisation, contraception and health checks.’

It added that practice teams should ‘proactively’ address unmet, increasing or developing health needs ‘as capacity allows’, as well as accommodating changes in ‘how patients want to seek healthcare’.

This could include ‘supporting patients with self-care and self-management’, it said.

GPs were advised to resume the delivery of ‘routine and preventative work’ including screening at the end of April, when the Government entered the second phase of its coronavirus response.

Last month, they were told to base decisions on which routine work to resume ‘primarily’ on ‘clinical need’ and capacity - as well as whether it can be done ‘safely’.

Meanwhile, GP access to referrals continues to cause concern, with GP leaders demanding 'full investigation' into 'hundreds' of radiology referrals that have been returned to GPs across Birmingham.

Readers' comments (7)

  • Well that’s very clear!!! So glad I’ve got NHSE to guide me through all this .

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  • Hope my tone of sarcasm comes through in my above comment.

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  • What is happening with QOF? It was 'suspended', but sounds like we now have to catch up.

    What's happening with appraisal? It was 'suspended' whatever that means.

    I'm now busy facetiming our 200 care home patients scattered over 40 homes, at about £1 a call (less than minimum wage anyway) for this 'vital' new work

    Something has to give. How are the 5000 new GP's going Matt?

    Does anyone have a plan? If so could you announce if over a bank holiday weekend

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  • You know when you 'tell' someone to do something, invariably you don't want to do it. And there's nothing you can actually do about it.

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  • I'm reducing my sessions - hooray - so they will have to wait in the queue. don't think I am the only one dropping sessions this year.

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  • I was asked to assess an ultrasound scan ordered in November 2019 to see if it is still needed. More work, more appointments, more re-referral on things I've already done. It really is getting old, like me.

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  • deliberately vague so as not to be seen to be forcing GPs to see pts when the risk is the same as before.

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