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Could the increase in consultations result in further pressures for GP services?

Posted on 18/11/2016 by Rob Muddiman

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A snapshot survey carried out by the King’s Fund questioned approximately 129 GP partners & practice managers, and found that there was a 10% increase in patient engagement with GPs in the first half of the year (2016/17), this in comparison to the same time two years ago.

As part of the quarterly monitoring report, the survey revealed that there was a significant increase in telephone consultations.

Results highlighted the number of patient consultations with GPs which has changed considerably over the past two years. This included a 9.9% increase in contact with patients in quarters one and two of 2016/17 compared to the same period in 2014/15.

It said this could be partly attributed to a 5% increase in the registered patient list size in its sample of practices.

The report also revealed that the traditional face-to-face contact between GPs and patients are gradually being shifted away towards telephone activity. Face-to-Face contact has fallen from an average of 92% in quarters one and two 2014/15 to 89.5% in quarters one and two 2016/17.

The response to these pressures found that almost half of those surveyed (45%) said they ‘planned to end the provision of unfunded services that were no included in core contracts, such as ‘ECG recording, spirometry and post-operation suture removal’.

King's Fund chief executive Chris Ham said: 'The NHS is treating more patients than ever before, and these findings show that rising demand is putting its services under increasing pressure.'

The increase in the number of patient contact albeit phone or face-to-face could slowly increase pressures on GP practices services. This could result in increased workloads for Practice Managers and non-clinical staff. There could also be a knock-on effect in the numbers of staff that are recruited for roles within practices to meet the demand.

TPP Health & Social Care are experts in recruiting for temporary and permanent support staff for General Practices. If you would like to discuss recruitment for NHS experienced Receptionists or Secretaries, please do get in touch on 020 7198 6080 or email

Source: Pulse today