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BMA urged to negotiate for ‘standard’ 15-minute face-to-face GP consultations

face-to-face appointments

GP leaders have voted in favour of face-to-face consultations becoming 15-minutes as ‘standard’ at this year’s UK LMCs conference.

The motion said that the BMA must lobby for a ‘clear strategy to implement and achieve a standard 15-minute consultation time’ for face-to-face GP consultations, which is already both BMA and RCGP policy.

Proposing the motion, Dr Euan Strachan-Orr of the BMA’s GP trainees committee said that 10-minute consultations lead to the ‘deterioration’ of GPs’ own mental wellbeing ‘due to burnout’.

He added: ‘Conference, we need to make the 15-minute consultation the standard. It’s time to reaffirm our own policy.’

But speaking against the motion, Dr Ursula Brennan from Eastern Northern Ireland LMC said that 15 minutes are ‘certainly not needed for many patients’ and standardisations will ‘remove flexibility’ for practices.

Dr Denise McFarlane of Grampian LMC added that standardising appointment times ‘will add additional pressure to GPs’ if additional time is required.

The motion, which also called for guidance on what is expected of trainees and for any changes to be reflected in trainee exams, was passed in full.

Motion in full

GP TRAINEES COMMITTEE: That conference notes RCGP and BMA policy aiming for 15 minute appointments for standard face-to-face GP consultations, as well as the large disparity in consulting times GP trainees are expected to undertake consultations during their training. We call on BMA to lobby RCGP, HEE and other key stakeholders to: 

  • (i) develop a clear strategy to implement and achieve a standard 15 minute consultation time for faceto-face consultations in general practice PASSED
  • (ii) develop guidance for GP trainees and GP trainers to allow trainees to have clear minimum expectations in consultation lengths throughout the different stages of their GP training PASSED
  • (iii) ensure any change to the standard GP consultation are reflected in the expectations and marking criteria of MRCGP examinations. PASSED

Source: BMA


Patrufini Duffy 11 May, 2021 9:46 pm

You can consult whatever time you want. The standard is fiction. Like Balint and Neighbour. Sheep will be sheep. You’re Consultants by you’re own right, make your own clinic up.
Set a standard as one phone call try also, then discharged, and 2 DNAs and you’re out?