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In response to the BMA GPs committee‘s lobbying as part of GPC’s Urgent Prescription for General Practice campaign to end relentless inappropriate demands on GPs, GPC called on the government to reduce inappropriate workload shift from secondary care into primary care. The General Practice Forward View dedicated ten pages to workload, clearly articulating the need to release capacity within general practice with 27% potentially avoidable GP appointments.
The 2017/18 NHS standard contract for secondary care trusts came into force on 1 April 2017. The changes which we have managed to negotiate with NHS England represent a welcome recognition by our secondary care colleagues, and the Government more generally, of the importance of ensuring that the bureaucratic burden that all GPs are under is reduced. The new contract follows last year’s changes, and has placed even more requirements on hospitals to reduce that bureaucratic workload shift onto GP practices.
The following five important key changes are a welcome addition:
Use our new templates to end inappropriate bureaucratic demands
These are important changes which, properly utilised can provide us with real and substantive ways of reducing the workload shift which we have been living with for far too long.
However, unless we hold trusts to account to ensure that they abide by these contract changes and that the benefits are therefore realised by practices, it will be a wasted opportunity, and we will continue to languish under the same bureaucratic burden year after year.
Therefore, as we did last year, we have created standard hospital contract template letters as part of our Quality First web resource, you can find these here. The templates can be adapted for practice use, and can be embedded into GP clinical systems so that the letter to the hospital is pre-populated with patient details. We have also provided template letters for LMCs to send to CCGs and hospital trusts to ensure local implementation is a priority. We recommend this is added as a regular agenda item at LMC/CCG liaison meetings. We have produced this suite of template letters to help you to leverage the benefits from these contractual changes. The template letters provide both practices and LMCs with resources to hold both CCGs and hospital trusts to account to implement these contractual changes.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the team who have helped shape and drive this program of work through: Mark Corcoran, Peter Horvath-Howard, David Wrigley, Robert Morley, Andrew Green, not forgetting the force behind these changes Chaand Nagpaul. I would also like to thank the BMA Webteam, GPC secretariat, the comms team and the system template suppliers Qmasters and Ardens. Without their collective, generous unstinting efforts we would not have reached this point.
Please utilise these resources and share them as widely as possible with your colleagues. I hope that you find them useful.
Dr Farah Jameel is GPC Lead on workload management.
Follow her on twitter, @DrFJameel.
Excellent work Farah, well done!
Great work Farah and team, great to know autoritative sources to allow us to protect our most valueble resource -time.
May I share a video I have created to help teach hospital doctors how to complete Fit notes ? Link below
Well done. Love the template letters. Ramesh Mehay, Bradford
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