The government has admitted that it will fall short of its GP hiring targets. argues that one in seven current appointments is unnecessary.
Health officials are working on a “major communications campaign” to explain to the public “how they can make the best use of the NHS” as part of plans to ease pressure on family doctors .
In accordance with the scheme, patients will be given advice on “self-treatment” for certain diseases, as well as referral to pharmacists.
Plans released on Tuesday by the government and NHS England say about 15 per cent of current GP appointments could be avoided if patients were given better advice on how to manage their ailments. have been trained as “care navigators” to refer patients who can be helped without visiting a GP at all.
However, the rollout depends on whether such workers can safely identify such cases – with the risk that some of those who need the therapist's attention may slip through the net.
“Care navigation is becoming an important role as about 15% of current GP appointments can be directed to self-care, community pharmacies, management groups or other more appropriate local services,” the plan says.
The 45-page plan outlines a range of schemes to reduce the workload of general practitioners and improve access for patients who require consultation.
Up to seven million patients a year suffer from some of the most common ill patients will be able to receive medication with a prescription from your pharmacist without visiting a doctor.
The £645 million plan will allow chemists to supply prescription medicines for seven conditions by the end of this year: sinusitis, sore throat, earache, infected insect bites, impetigo, shingles and uncomplicated urinary tract infections. p>
Today's plan promises further changes so that more patients can get medicines from street pharmacists without a prescription at all.
The Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency works with the NHS. England and the Department of Health and Welfare to identify medicines that can be reclassified from 'prescription only' to available from pharmacists.
Overhaul of phone lines
Ministers have also pledged to overhaul GP phone lines to put an end to the “8am mess” and ensure that patients are not just greeted with interested tones. the next two years for the patients who need them most.
The plan also promises to roll out schemes that mean patients can directly seek care for certain conditions, including hearing aids, weight management services and some musculoskeletal problems. problems.
But think tanks on Tuesday said the plans would not solve the country's shortage of general practitioners, with 2,000 fewer practitioners in England now than in 2015.
Jake Beach, Research Fellow at the Health Health Foundation, said: “Today's plan includes some positive steps to improve access to primary health care, but does not address fundamental issues affecting general practice.”
” It is vital that people can go to the right doctor when they need it, but the fact remains that there are not enough general practitioners to meet the needs of patients. The number of general practitioners has decreased by almost 2,000 compared to 2015, when the current enrollment began.”
Becky Baird, Senior Fellow at The King's Fund, expressed concern that patients could end up being “flipped from one pole to another” if they were sent to pharmacists who didn't offer the promised new services and ended up back at therapist.
She said: “Local areas will need to think very carefully about how they communicate what services are available, where and to whom.”
Neal O' Brian, the junior health minister in charge of primary health care, said the government had already admitted it would not be able to meet its manifesto commitment to recruit 6,000 people. more GPs.
When asked about the goal during a visit to GP surgery, Rishi Sunak said the number of GPs has increased by 2,000 since 2019, with plans to “significantly” increase their numbers and “massively” increase the number of other staff working in primary health care.