Reducing the Workload on General Practice
NHS Alliance and the Primary Care Foundation, has been successful in bidding for two important projects commissioned by NHS England to identify the problems around workload in general practice and the steps we need to take to allow you to focus on patient care.
Shaping Demand – looking at potentially avoidable appointments
We have already worked with a number of GPs and will be working with more to understand the detail, but an important part of the information gathering is this audit tool to categorise and quantify the ‘potentially avoidable appointments’ that take up time in practices.
The tool collects information on the number of avoidable appointments you have in your surgery. As workload increases, we are increasingly aware that, as GPs, we don’t need to see everyone – that many patient could be seen by others in the practice team or by other agencies, that too many agencies make unnecessary demands on GPs time, or patients could find better ways to care for themselves or seek reassurance elsewhere.
After talking to many GPs about potentially avoidable appointments, an audit tool was developed. All you need to do is click here go to the website to download the audit tool and get started. We are trying to find out the types of appointments and the level of workload involved. Please feel free to share this with your GP colleagues – we are looking to get in touch with as many practices as we can across England.
We realise that people may think that it will take a lot of time to complete but the below 3 minute video from Robert Varnam, the head of general practice development at NHS England, explains why it matters and how easy it is to complete.
This is an important opportunity to let NHS England know about the time practices spend doing unnecessary tasks because of growing bureaucracy in general practice. The aim is to identify the scale of the problem and the steps NHS England need to take to free you up to focus on patient care.
Again, we will be collecting data in a number of different ways, but an important part of the information gathering is a survey to understand which activities impose the greatest burden onto practices.
We are acutely aware that this questionnaire is itself a burden – though it is one with a clear purpose. NHS England is determined to make use of the output and to do what they can to make things easier for practices. It is also designed to be as easy as possible for you to complete. The full instructions are at the start of the questionnaire and for the live link just click here
Please feel free to share this with your colleagues – we are looking to get in touch with as many practices as we can across England. Thank you for participating and, if you would like more details about the project, please click here.
Please join the New NHS Alliance if you agree with these values:
- I understand that enabling people to improve their own lives is the most important aspect of a progressive healthcare system (it is more important than ‘improving existing services’)
- I am open to learning and prepared to innovate to find different ways of working that improve people’s lives
- I am open to working with a range of organisations, within and outside the NHS, in pursuit of better health and wellbeing outcomes
- I recognise that people and communities are resource-rich and can hold the solution to improving and preventing poor health behaviours. I am committed to releasing this capacity by enabling people to develop greater levels of Control, Contact and Confidence (the 3Cs of health creation)
- I recognise the emotional labour involved in caring for others and take steps to look after both professional and informal carers
- I believe in and practice parity of esteem between patients and professionals, between the NHS and organisations that contribute to health and wellbeing outside the NHS and between those living with physical and mental health problems