Hospitals still wasting 15m appointments a year by dumping work on GPs warns GPC

Bostock, N. GP Online. Published online: 12 September 2016

The GPC has published a raft of template letters to help GPs push back against hospitals that are continuing to dump work on them unfairly.

The NHS standard contract – which hospital providers work under – was altered for this year after talks between the BMA and health service leaders. The changes bar hospitals from forcing GPs to re-refer patients who miss appointments, aim to make hospitals communicate test results directly to patients and mean patients can be referred on to other departments within a hospital rather than having to go back to their GP.

But GP leaders say NHS managers have simply failed in many areas to enforce changes to the hospital contract. The warning echoes findings from a GPonline poll published earlier this year which found that 73% of GPs said their local hospital still operated blanket policies that meant patients who miss hospital appointments are sent automatically back to their GP.

GPC chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: ‘Following sustained lobbying from the BMA, the NHS standard contract for secondary care trusts was changed during recent negotiations to ensure systems are in place to prevent unnecessary workload being diverted to GPs that could and should be handled by secondary care providers.  NHS England estimates that around 15m appointments are wasted because GPs are forced to carry out unnecessary administration like those caused by these issues with the standard contract.

Read the full article here

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