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GPs go forth

GP appointment times set for extra scrutiny from commissioners

GP practices are set for greater scrutiny of their opening hours after NHS managers announced a new incentives scheme that will reward CCGs with funding worth £1 per patient to increase patient satisfaction with GP access.

Under the Quality Premium scheme, CCGs will earn £1 per patient if at least 85% of patients reporting that they had a ‘good’ experience of making a GP appointment in the July 2017 GP Patient Survey.

It comes as patient satisfaction with GP access has been dropping, to 73% in January.

For those regions well below the 85% satisfaction, the £1 per patient can be earned by showing a 3% improvement from the score they achieved in July 2016.

GP leaders said they had significant issues with the Quality Premium system that sees CCGs having to chase money that’s rightfully theirs, and said for improvements in satisfaction the Government needed to invest in core general practice.

It follows a concerted effort by the Government to increase GP access and create a seven-day service, despite evidence that there is little evidence for Sunday opening.

Meanwhile, GP practices will be required to record the availability of evening and weekend opening for routine appointments under the 2016/17 GP contract deal.

General practice consistently scores among the highest overall satisfaction rates of any part of the NHS, but satisfaction with opening times and appointments has dropped - despite more than 90% of patients saying they get appointments at times convenient to them. .

The Department of Health has recognised the drop in overall patient satisfaction is a consequence of the ‘pressures that GPs are under’.

But NHS England has said that the new incentives will ensure the ‘importance’ of patient satisfaction is underlined.

The CCG Quality Premium guidance states: ‘Access to GP services, and, in particular, the ease of making an appointment is a key measure of patient experience, and affects the wider healthcare system as patients who find it difficult to access GP services may seek care through emergency services inappropriately.

’Attaching a quality premium payment will also ensure that the profile and importance of insight about patient experience is underlined, and it will incentivise the wider system to review and learn from the findings of the GPPS.’

But GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey told Pulse: ‘The workload pressures in general practice are rapidly increasing and practices are struggling to meet those demands. the way to achieve greatest satisfaction is to invest more, and there’s a direct link between the investment in practices and the satisfaction patients have in that practice.’

This comes after Pulse reported another 20% of the premium is set to be linked to CCGs boosting GP use of the new e-referrals service, while CCGs will also receive extra funding for reducing antibiotics use.

Patient satisfaction with GP services

opening hours special report  PPL - online

opening hours special report PPL - online

opening hours special report PPL

General practice consistently scores among the highest overall satisfaction rates of any part of the NHS, with 84.9% of patients in the 2015 GP Patient Survey saying their overall GP experience was ‘good’ - including 42.7% who said it was ’very good’.

But satisfaction with opening times and appointments has dropped.

In January, the survey found 73.3% of patients said they had a ‘good’ experience of making an appointment, compared with 73.8% in 2014 and 75.5% in 2013.

However, at the same time, 92% of patients said they got an appointment at a time which was convenient to them at their last attempt.

 

Readers' comments (44)

  • £1 per patient! ha ha ha I'm incontinent with laughter at this trivial ammount.
    We need £15-£20 / patient to keep up with our demand.

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  • I just find my frustration and anger building more and more as they try harder and harder to get more for less. Roll on retirement.

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  • Shove your quid where the sun doesn't shine.

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  • but i thought the GPC were backing the current contract - i'm confused - does the GPC just tell us what we want to hear but when it comes to the crunch just backs the government ???

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  • Peanuts,you know what you get when you pay peanuts boys & girls.

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  • Another paltry amount

    General practice in the UK is finished if you continue to prostitute yourself for such sums

    1 quid per patient???? are you joking???

    wtf are they doing???

    you possess the skills why do you all put up with this nonsense

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  • This is another joke from Mr Hunt's way of squeezing blood from a stone.

    The only person who cannot be helped is the person who blames others.(carl rogers)

    On what planet are you on! - Mr Hunt.

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  • The money goes to the CCG and practices never see it anyway.

    Who cares if we hit the targets - we are grossly underfunded and still maintain 90% satisfaction rates - the CCG needs to learn of us

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  • Vinci Ho

    £1 per head , seriously?
    Where is the dignity of CCGs?
    While a satisfaction level is quite high, to increase the figure by even 1-2% more will be harder than this kind of estimation . More resources of all kinds are needed.

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  • The more patients you see or give easy access to-
    More specialist,physio, etc referrals u will be forced do,
    More investigations of blood tests, radiology tests etc u will forced to do,
    More prescriptions u will forced to write.
    the list goes on! This will cost more!

    And more GPs will be stressed and retire early.
    It is a loss game, on increasing demand as most acute demand is trivia or can be self managed.

    Increasing demand as supply is shrinking fast. This is crazy and makes no economic sense!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Increasing demand as supply is shrinking fast. This is crazy and makes no economic sense!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Absolutely!!

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  • £1 per patient hahaha
    joke
    Politically driven dross.
    retirement and I will get a pay rise each year

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  • YES
    Increasing demand as supply is shrinking fast. This is crazy and makes no economic sense!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Is this what these managers are taught as part of their business qualifications.

    OR Is this the part of skills expected of the politician- Mr Hunt.

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  • What we need is brakes on demand for access

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  • Not only will the money go to CCGs and not the practices, but it will be in the year following the increased access.
    Why in God's name would practices invest in more staff or appointments with absolutely no guarantee of reimbursement of the cost until the following year, if at all?

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  • Looks like the DoH wants easier access and more capacity so we can see patients even sooner to tell them they don't need antibiotics. That'll help our satisfaction rates

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  • When is our 'penance' ever going to end. THERE IS A RECRUITMENT CRISIS YOU MORONS.

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  • Why 'reward' CCGs for GP access....

    When GPs are ultimately commissioned by NHS England?

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  • agree, need to put brakes on demand for access.

    5p per consultation and free plastic bag to take the FP10 home in.

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  • This comment has been removed by the moderator.

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  • And how much would it cost to process this £1????

    I wonder what Alan Suger would make of this!

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  • "Is this what these managers are taught as part of their business qualifications.

    OR Is this the part of skills expected of the politician- Mr Hunt."

    -- another GP on here explained it as such - Its what you get when you have 4 As managed by 2 As and a B or a diploma

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  • The Quality Premium also has a lot of deducations even before you get to the part where GP access can earn CCG more funding.
    - Total pot £5 per patient
    - All lost if CCG overspent.
    - 25% lost for each of four constitutional targets failed (18 weeks referral to treatment, 4 hour waits in A&E, 62 day cancer referral treatment, 8 minute ambulance response).
    - Improving patient experience of making an appointment can earn 20% of whatever's left.

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  • I suspect as we universally instruct the work-dumpers, do-this-for-free-ers and GANFYDs to go forth an multiply this will go backwards, not forwards.

    Great maths for the dept. Promise £64m that you will never have to give out, and use it to bail out the acutes again at the end of the year. No brainer.

    So here's my no brainer: I'm out.

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  • No no no im out

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  • £1 per patient. average gp list 1800 so £1800 minus 40% tax £720=£1100
    very generous

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  • Dont forget NI and pension contributions:))

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  • Beyond ludicrous

    The usual Stasi approach... Micromanage set targets do absolutely nothing to help
    Totally pathetic

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  • I can just see it....'So we can earn an extra £1/year which you'll never see, please fill in this weekly spreadsheet showing....'

    Ahhh, Springtime in the Bay of Islands...NZ looks better every day.

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  • Lets review the whole appointments system and start with "Defence Unions refuse to insure GPs who allow less then 15mins per appointment ". After all, all the "catch up appts"ie earache,sore throat,rpt pill go to ANP's and physician assistants -then see how many GPs you need in the country

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  • Harry Longman

    So well intentioned, so poorly executed. Of course we want patients to have better access, but the PES has a incredibly feeble link to how access actually works for patients. You can drop the wait from 5 days to 0, the measure will hardly move. But reality for patients has changed. We need operational measures, and not silly incentives.

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  • Boat well and truly holed. No Sign of rescue. Just more canon fire. Going down... Down under...

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  • Thank you for this kind offer... But I would rather stab myself with a spoon

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  • PMSL.
    No thanks.

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  • so pathetic it not worth a comment

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  • One Pound per patient!!! That's 60p after tax, not evening mentioning pension and the tax on annual pension contribution or the reduction in annual pension allowance.
    Not even worth trying to chase this ludicrous sum. I'd rather take a day off.
    Is that all part of the increase in GP funding?
    Do work worth £5 and get paid £1. Nothing new there, or?

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  • If you knew Weymouth doctors were earning £600 per patients
    You would jump at the work

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  • Are you referring to this ...
    http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/your-practice/practice-topics/pay/how-much-each-practice-gets-funded/20009192.fullarticle

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  • This patients satisfaction malarkey is all bulshit

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  • medicine tastes awful

    "Health minister to produce report on reducing GP workload"- says on the home page of pulse.

    This scheme is designed to increase GP workload- where do these managers conjure up schemes like this- Does the left hand know what the right hand is doing! Man -this is crazy!

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  • the money is not for you, its for CCGs to pay off secondary care - we didnt see any of the quality premium in the past - dont see why they shud change now

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  • What this demonstrates is a complete lack of understanding by Hunt and his remote senior managers in NHSE. In our part of Berkshire, the issue is how long NHS primary care services are sustainable for and what model of care do we now need to consider for a post NHS care system. May not be vote winning but at least that's wont be our problem.

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  • Stick that extra £1 where the sun don't shine!

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  • I would suggest that if commenting partners look at their own practice's satisfaction levels with booking of appointments they will be pleasantly surprise how well they are doing.But there are practices which are just not providing access.They are closed for 2 to 4 hours during core hours yet their NHS choices web site show surgery open from 8.00am to 6pm on week days!Telephone constantly engaged forcing patients to A&E.£1 is for those CCGs to get their act together and invest or make practices invest in reception staff?telephone lines and improve appointment systems.
    Believe me small investment can go a long way to improve satisfaction levels.Patients deserve after all they are some of us!

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