Family doctors will be given a £ 250 million injection before winter.


Family doctors will be given a £ 250 million injection before winter.

Family doctors are set to receive an additional £ 250 million to increase the number of appointments for this winter, NHS England has announced.

The new winter access fund will pay local or self-employed GPs to work more shifts in GPs. It is also used to fund appointments with non-medical staff such as physical therapists and podiatrists and advanced nurses.

The aim is to increase the number of same-day patient appointments to counter the growing anger over the difficulties patients face in obtaining a GP place.

According to NHS data, 58 percent of family doctor appointments are face-to-face with most also being done on the same day. During the pandemic, and with encouragement from the NHS England and the Department of Health and Welfare, many GPs took digital and phone appointments.

Last July, then Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that all initial family doctor appointments “should be teleconsultations unless there is a compelling clinical reason not to”.

And the NHS long-term plan, published in 2019, suggests that all patients be given a “digital-first” option to access primary care care if they so choose.

NHS England said its new GP support plan will also aim to tackle the increasing abuse of doctors and staff. LatestPageNews previously highlighted the pressure on GPs and increasing demand as fewer GPs serve a growing population with pent-up healthcare needs.

Amanda Pritchard, executive director of the NHS, said: “Improving access to quality general care is vital for our patients and for the rest of the NHS as well.

“It is a personal priority and today NHS England is taking urgent and longer-term action to provide GPs and their teams with additional investment and support.”

A new YouGov poll suggests that two-thirds of people would prefer in-person appointments, with 25 percent saying they wouldn’t mind the format used.

Dr. Julia Grace Patterson of the EveryDoctor campaign group said, “It is a bit of a shock to GPs to be vehemently told by the Minister of Health last year that all appointments should be made by phone and now we’re being told the absolute opposite and,” indeed , held responsible for the number of telephone consultations that took place. “

She said that “inflammatory” rhetoric about access to medical services led to “abuse” of staff, referring to the 2021 patient survey which found that 83 percent of patients in England rated their experience as “good”.

The survey of around 850,000 patients across England also showed that 82% were “satisfied” with the appointment offered – compared to 73% the year before.

State Secretary for Health and Social Welfare Sajid Javid said: “I am determined to ensure that patients can see their GP as they want, no matter where they live.

“Our new plan offers GP teams investment and targeted support. This corrects the underperformance, relieves the staff so that they can spend more time with the patients, and increases the number of personal appointments.

“In addition, we are establishing additional measures against abuse and harassment so that the staff in general practices, who work so tirelessly for patient care, can do so without having to fear for their safety.”

The NHS England plan makes it clear that any GP practice must seek patient opinions and respect their preferences for face-to-face appointments unless there are good clinical reasons not to do so.

Local areas are free to choose how the money is spent, although NHS England has suggested using it to set up walk-in hubs in the community.

General practitioners’ practices that do not offer enough personal appointments do not have access to the funds.

Cash will also be used to upgrade phone systems to improve access and avoid long waits on the phone for patients trying to speak to staff, according to NHS England.

Other changes include reducing the administrative burden for GPs to fill out fit notes and DVLA exams.

Family doctor offices are also getting advice on new social distancing infections so their waiting rooms can accommodate more patients.

The NHS has announced that doctor appointment dates will be released by the practice from spring next year to increase transparency, and patients will be able to rate their practice via SMS.

The ministers have promised to allocate 50 million more medical appointments as well as 6,000 more general practitioners and 6,000 more practice nurses and other staff by 2024.

Professor Martin Marshall, Chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said, “The pressure on the general practitioner workforce has been a long one. We need the government in order to keep the promise it made in the manifesto of a further 6,000 general practitioners and 26,000 other general practitioners. enter professional life by 2024. “

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