How a GP phone call is reducing patient travel to surgery by 40% - the Patient Access method.

Harry Longman's picture

Over 40 GP practices around the country offer an innovative service to all their patients. When they call, the receptionist will ask what the problem is and make sure their phone number is up to date.  Then the GP will phone the patient, as soon as possible unless the patient asks for a later time, but usually well within an hour.

What could be simpler?

The effects are:  only 1 in 3 of the patients needs to come in, after they have spoken with the doctor.  So much time is saved that GPs are able to devote their face-to-face appointments to those in most clinical need, and mostly they can see them the same day.  Their increased availability means that patient demand can go up, but it is dealt with more efficiently so doctors gain control of their workload.  

Overall, the number of patient trips to surgeries are about 40% lower, a big saving in travel, energy and time.  There is now evidence of 20% fewer trips to A&E.

GPs invented the system, at least 18 times independently over the last 12 years.  Now we are a movement, offering the method for others to adapt to their own practice.

Evidence, case studies and more details on the website

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