News

GPs to offer group appointments with up to 15 patients at a time

Thursday 11th October 2018
Alex Mathews-King

GPs will offer group appointments of up to 15 people in an effort to cut waiting times and better support people living with long-term conditions, family doctors say. Patients with conditions which require regular GP visits, like arthritis, diabetes, and asthma have taken part in group appointments which are extended to up to two hours and allow patients to support each other. These can be led by nurses or administrative staff, with a doctor on hand for "around an hour", to help save NHS resources and minimise the time spent repeating information, the head of the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) said after the plans were announced at its Annual Conference on Friday. However patient groups have said the idea is "ghastly" and…

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NHS England extends support service for GPs

Thursday 11th October 2018
Created: 11 October 2018 by Keith Cooper

Doctors have welcomed the extension of a mental health support service to cover all NHS doctors in England following mounting evidence of work-related stress, burnout and emotional distress. The extension of the London-based NHS PHP (Practitioner Health Programme) was announced by NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens at the Wounded Healer conference in London last week. It comes as the BMA has launched a survey into doctors' and medical students' mental health in an effort to improve the support available to NHS staff. 'The NHS is significantly improving mental health treatment for patients,' Mr Stevens said. 'But sometimes their doctors need our support too. This new funding will help all NHS doctors by providing a safe, confidential, non-stigmatising service to turn to when…

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One in four evening and weekend GP appointments unused

Thursday 11th October 2018
NHS England claims seven-day GP policy is popular despite low take-up on Sundays

Research suggesting that one in four evening and weekend GP appointments in England are going unfilled has been described as "shocking" by critics of the government's controversial drive to guarantee access to family doctors at weekends. Around half a million appointment slots have been left empty on evenings and weekends, according to data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) from 80 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). Take-up was at its lowest on Sundays, when 37% of appointments go unfilled, according to figures obtained by Pulse, a specialist publication for doctors. On weekday evenings, 23% of slots were going unused. The figures were seized on by the British Medical Association, which opposes the government's 'seven days a week' pledge on doctors' appointments at…

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