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Unplanned admissions DES survey could be dropped, GPC claims



Exclusive NHS England could drop plans to survey the 2% of vulnerable patients GPs have signed up for the unplanned admissions DES, Pulse has learned.

In a speech on the 2015/16 GMS contract at Pulse Live 2015 in London today, GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey explained that the planned survey included in September’s redesign of the DES has yet to be developed any further.

Speaking to Pulse after the speech, Dr Vautrey added that he was doubtful whether patients would have noticed the changes put in place under the scheme, and that its future might hinge on the next government.

He also told delegates that the GPC had been assured that GPs would be funded for any administration costs incurred by practices in contacting patients or operating the survey if it proceeds.

Pulse reported in September that the unplanned admissions DES would be being revamped under the latest contract negotiations, and that a new patient survey would be introduced to cover this.

Dr Vautrey told delegates that it had not been decided whether the survey will be done.

He added: ‘It’s possible there might be a survey of patients on the 2% register. Not unsurprisingly the Government and NHS England want to ask those patients who are on the register whether they’ve noticed any difference or not, and it’s possible that a survey might be done.

‘If that happens, it will be fully funded and the administration costs will be paid for, and envelopes and letters will be provided. But at the moment it’s not certain whether that’s going to happen or not.’

Speaking to Pulse, when asked if patients would have seen a difference he said: ‘Probably not, and I think that’s one of the challenges. I think ultimately there’s too many patients on the list. The 2% register is too big to do it any meaningful way.’

He added: ‘I think [the survey] might now depend on the next government and whether they want to resource it or not resource it, or feel it’s necessary to do.’

The original headline on this story mistakenly said the ‘Unplanned admissions DES could be dropped’. It was meant to say ‘Underplanned admissions DES survey could be dropped’.