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At the heart of general practice since 1960

GP practice resorts to hand-delivering letters to cut costs

A practice has resorted to hand-delivering letters rather than paying for stamps, as funding pressures bear down on GPs.

The GP told Pulse how a receptionist puts the envelopes through patients’ doors while she takes her dog for a walk.

Pulse reported last week that one in seven practices has made staff redundant since April to save money, following changes to the GP contract that has meant a large increase in QOF workload, four new DESs and responsibility for administering locum superannuation payments.

Dr Eithne MacRae, a GP in St Helens, Merseyside, said: ‘We found the costs of inviting each patient on the chronic disease registers up to three times was getting ever more expensive with the increases in stamp costs.

‘We are also trying to get patients to attend for their annual review in the month of their birth and are adding letters to their scripts request in the month of their birth.

‘It’s early days yet but it seems to be working better than the old system.’

Readers' comments (5)

  • Why not save money by sending your patients emails? This is the 21st century, remember.

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  • lol. yes that would be good idea but lots of people especially the above 80's and also some poorer sections dont have access to internet or dont know how to use it and you will be surprised how many people fall into those categories. :)

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  • Also, many families have a joint email address and, whatever they say about 'it doesn't matter' not sure where you would stand on confidentiality if ever there was a complaint.

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  • Email flood gate!
    Have asked a few patients to email photos or documents that they've not given in to me- very helpful. Then comes the 'sorry to bother you by email but............' No time to cope with the workload already plus it's so easy to bang off an email that no thought whatsoever goes into it. Reply to all!

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  • get a cheap mobile phone contract and text (much cheaper and works)
    also receptionsits can phone patients directly with message rather then post letters whcih go in the bin unread-again much cheaper
    we stopped posting letters a long time ago and have not missed this method of communication.
    ask yourself if you get a letter in a white envelope how likly are you to open and read it--most of the mail we get at home nowadays is junk and thrown away

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