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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)

  • 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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  • This comment has been moderated.

  • 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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