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A faulty production line

MPs launch inquiry into reducing demand for GP appointments

A group of MPs have launched a review into how levels of demand for GP appointments can be reduced.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Primary Care and Public Health has asked for written contributions by 3 April and will take oral evidence in May and June.

The group will be looking at the case for a national strategy for managing demand in primary care.

It said this comes amid the Government calling on GP practices to help reduce pressure in accident and emergency departments by increasing access.

But also as GPs and their staff cite workload as their single biggest issue of concern, amid declining numbers of full-time GPs, and as many GP appointments (27%) are estimated to be avoidable.

The MPs want to know:

  1. What needs to happen and who needs to be involved to help assist people in looking after their own (a) minor self-limiting illnesses and (b) long term conditions?
  2. Is it necessary to commission self care and how can this be done effectively?
  3. What training is necessary to support primary care staff in educating people to look after themselves and who is providing this training?
  4. How can local health expertise such as pharmacy, health coaches,patient groups and charities, etc be incorporated into the system to help manage demand?
  5. What else has to happen to improve joint working locally to engage people in their health and wellbeingand so reduce servicedemand?
  6. What impact have Government policies such as the Five Year Forward View and GP Forward View had in managing demand and how can we move towards that much sought after whole-systems NHS?

Readers' comments (3)

  • Can you imagine an airline launching an enquiry in how to reduce people's unnecessary flights!

    No, nor can I. Businesses make their own mind up for each user based on price and alternatives, such as email or teleconferencing. Individuals decide how to balance location of airport, flights, school holidays, baggage allowance, seat choice and time of day against price.

    Can you imagine if the government tried to optimise flights in a free flight system!

    Individuals paying for things is used in every other industry and helps complex systems self organise.

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  • I could if they had to provide those flights at no cost!

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  • 1. Co-payments and insurance like all other health systems in the western world which deliver better univeral coverage than the NHS.

    2. All medicines that can be bought from a pharamcy to be blacklisted on the NHS.

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