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Summary of results so far

We have now reached the point where nearly 5% of practices across England have taken part in the audit and received a report. By May 2018, we received responses from 1,429 clinicians (including 1,063 GPs, 297 Nurses and 69 other clinicians) and have produced reports for 345 practices.

Overall, the rate of potentially avoidable appointments is stabilising at just over 20% for GPs, 14% for Nurses and 6% for other clinicians. There is some variation across different parts of the Country, with more uptake in the Midlands, East & North of England and less in London. GPs and Nurses see other clinicians in the practice team as potentially best placed to pick up avoidable workload.

Nationally, practices prioritise the following:

  • Working with reception staff (41%) was identified as the single most effective way of helping patients more towards the right practitioner
  • Persuading the CCG to agree protocols that will allow direct referral to specialists (24%) and highlighting to the CCG the issue with patients being referred back to practices by specialists ‘to do work that should be done in hospital’ (23%) were seen as the two best ways of avoiding patients coming to the practice when you can add no value
  • Establishing direct referral protocols (26%), establishing a ‘pharmacy first’ or ‘minor ailments’ scheme (25%) or improving access to mental health (23%) were seen to be the best referral pathways for reducing the burden on GPs.
  • Nurse practitioners (29%), practice pharmacists (19%) and mental health nurse/therapist (13%) were identified as the best practitioners for taking some of the workload off GPs

About Us

The Primary Care Foundation supports the development of best practice in primary and urgent care. We apply our work shaping national policy to support local change. We use information to create understanding, driving improvements in care, reducing unnecessary variation across organisations and between clinicians and developing practical tools for front-line staff in general practice and urgent care.