GPs asked to ‘take extras on top of agreed patients’ by NHS 111

16th June 2023 by NASGP

GPs asked to ‘take extras on top of agreed patients’ by NHS 111

GPs in Wessex have been pressured by NHS 111 to take on extra patients, Pulse reports.

Wessex LMCs, which covers Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon, Wiltshire, Dorset, and Hampshire and the Isle of Wight where NASGP offers funded membership, said it had had reports of NHS 111 phoning practices to push additional patients or telephone referrals.

The LMC reassured local GPs: “‘The number of appointments to be made available for direct booking by NHS 111 are at a rate of 1 per 3000 patients per day. You do not have to accept more than this or via another communication method.”

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, NASGP chair, said: “This behaviour is placing GPs in a highly challenging situation, whereby we may seem to be seen at odds with our patients’ needs.

“General practice’s contract with NHS 111 was established with the understanding that it would be a sustainable way for GPs to provide high-quality care for patients triaged by the service. However, this requires practices to plan clinical capacity well in advance – capacity that we know is already stretched beyond safe limits.

“As GPs, we cannot be persistently put on the back foot, compelled to shore up urgent care. NHS 111 needs to stop placing extra demands downstream, and instead needs to renegotiate its role regarding the service it provides.”

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