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At the heart of general practice since 1960

How can you reduce your workload?

Give us your ideas to help make GPs’ working lives easier

wow campaign logo 3x2

wow campaign logo 3x2

An appeal from the Editor

nigel praities square

nigel praities square

Dear Pulse reader,

How many times can we say it? General practice can’t cope.

The endless line of punters at the door every day; a full list before you even look at the ‘extras’ or the home visit requests. It is not quite a war zone out there, but after a Monday morning surgery it sure can feel that way.

GPs are known for their resourcefulness, but right now it is impossible to find any headroom to think through the problems. The profession needs immediate help, but the cavalry is not coming, or at least it won’t be here until 2020 if you believe the GP Forward View.

This is why Pulse has launched a War on Workload this month. We want to gather all those clever little ideas that you use in your practice and publish them so others can follow your example.

They can be as small as a poster on how antibiotics don’t help colds, or as radical as a complete ban on home visits to care homes unless there is an immediate medical need. Please take five minutes to send them to us and we will collect them together to produce a manual for all practices to share. We hope, with your help, to make a seismic difference to the workload that practices have to deal with and help keep everyone’s head above water.

I hope that is a ‘forward view’ all GPs can get behind.

Best wishes,

Nigel Praities

What are we looking for?

Ideally something that costs very little, and could be applied by any GP practice, large or small, such as:

Template letters that you use to bat work back to secondary care.

Practice policies that reverse-engineer workload dump from care homes, hospitals and others.

Educational materials for patients that enable them to self-care when required.

Systems you have in place to ensure that urgent care appointments truly are used for emergencies only.

What should I do?

Please fill in the form below via the link or write to us with a short description of your idea. Just a few sentences would be fine, although please do send any supporting materials if you have them to hand – to WOW@pulsetoday.co.uk  

Click here to fill out the form

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win hob nobs plug 580x92px

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Readers' comments (29)

  • Our local CCG is trying to lure us into working MORE by paying us lots of money to work Saturdays when there is not the need or demand just to tick the Government's plans box- this money will be our supposed "pay rise" and will only come to us if we offer this extra service - I can imagine that this money will evaporate in a few years time and we will be even more stuffed with a weekend contract too - Thank heaven I am retiring in a few years time!

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  • We should refuse to do home visit if request came after 12 noon,also we should refuse to do home visit because hospital said he needs review by own GP, if was discharged form secondary care. should be fit for discharge ,why should be Gp to go out and gets in touch with S/w and re start care package

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  • Refuse to prescribe and follow up bloods tests, repeat xray , as whoever order a test it is his responsibility to follow it up and prescribe not fax to Gp to prescribe and chase this and that.

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  • Refuse to refer to another speciality were the consultant could do himself, rather than another appointment and wil be for something he has not seen for years , while could be managed in primary care, yet it is difficult to challenge patients once were told need another referral .

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  • A simple one: gradually change all stable repeat Rx from 28 days to 56 days, and halve the admin time. Similarly, change any 6-monthly med reviews to annually.

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  • Just say 'NO', repeatedly

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  • The BMA have published templates for letters to bat back work. We have historically been rubbish at saying no and GPs now need to find their voice. A clear idea of what are core services and what are not would be really helpful so we can say no with confidence.

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  • Introduce direct access to dermatology, ent, Physio, podiatry, counselling, ophthalmology. Patients can already self refer for gum, family planning and minor injuries/ ED we need to send some of the work load back to secondary care in return for accepting more of the chronic disease management.

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  • I've been a GP for more than 25 years and every so often this mantra goes out. Then GPs are offered a few pennies and a sizable minority jump at it.We will never learn

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  • Charge a co-payment and a lot of the trivial stuff disappears - we do it in Australia and it works well.

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