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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.’