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#GPnews: Phone triaging could ‘break link’ between GPs and patients, says Lib Dem leader

15:00 Here’s a change of pace – an excellent pardoy of Hotel California, titled ’The NHS can’t afford you’ (it really does scan…) from Dr Samir Dawlatly, GP and managing director of Our Health Partnership, the superpractice in Birmingham:

12:05 The other big story this morning is a controversial story in the Daily Mail, which claims GPs are ‘fobbing off’ patients by triaging them before offering them face-to-face appointments.

It cites two private firms that are offering training to practices in how to manage an overwhelming number of patients through three-minute phone triaging.

Tim Farron, leader of the Lib Dems, told the Mail: ‘It could have advantages but I do worry if we move lock, stock and barrel to a scheme like this we will break the link between a community GP and their patient.

‘This is a vital and much loved British tradition that the GP knows his patients and is at the heart of a community.’

However, GPs have pointed out that phone triage is quite normal practice:

9:40 The BMA has released the results of its major survey of 5,000 GPs, which it says will inform its strategy for negotiations.

The GPC said it was undertaking the survey after it decided to drop plans to ballot the profession on industrial action.

The headline figures were:

  • 57% of GPs find workload pressures excessive, at times preventing them from providing quality and safe care;
  • A further 27% found workload excessive which ‘significantly prevents’ them from offering quality and safe care;
  • only 10% of GPs think workload is manageable.

Respondents were asked which proposals to alleviate the crisis they most supported. It revealed:

  • 64% of GPs suggested ‘increased provision of enhanced community nurses to manage vulnerable housebound patients’;
  • 59% wanted more support to help patients self-care safely;
  • 53% wanted more community mental health workers.

Read the full story here.

Seen something interesting? Email newsdesk@pulsetoday or tweet @pulsetoday with the hashtag #GPnews


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