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CCG plans for GPs to offer 15-minute appointments for ‘complex’ patients

NHS Oxfordshire CCG has said it is aiming to move towards GPs offering 15-minute face-to-face appointments, which will be capped at 13 per session.

The CCG’s ’Primary Care Framework’ includes this aim, which it says will be used to benefit ‘complex’ patients, but includes little detail as to how they will achieve this. 

It comes after the BMA outlined proposals in its ‘Urgent Prescription for General Practice’ for GP appointments to be lengthened to 15 minutes and consultations to be limited to a target of 25 a day in a bid to stop general practice being ‘run into the ground’.

In the framework document, NHS Oxfordshire CCG says: ‘General practice will be…working to move to 15-minute face-to-face appointments with complex patients, where appropriate, (maximum 13 per session).’

However, it was unable to provide further details.

Following the publication of the BMA’s ‘Urgent Prescription’, GPC negotiator Brian Balmer said: ‘In a climate of staff shortages and limited budgets, GP practices are struggling to cope with rising patient demand, especially from an ageing population with complicated, multiple health needs that cannot be properly treated within the current 10-minute recommended consultation.’

At the beginning of this year Pulse revealed that the new Scottish GP contract, due to be phased in over the coming two years, will spell the end of the 10-minute GP consultation standard.

A BMA survey in 2015 found that more than 90% of GPs believe that 10-minute consultations are inadequate.