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Practice manager campaign aims to change patient mindset to reduce burden on GPs

by Rima Evans
15 April 2024

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The Institute of General Practice Management (IGPM) has launched a campaign encouraging patients to move away from the belief they have to see a GP for every problem.

‘Right Care First Time’ aims to cut pressure on practices and GPs as demand exceeds capacity and patients face delays in access, which, the IGPM has said is leading to a rise in levels of staff abuse.

In a campaign video released last week, the IGPM explains to patients that many surgeries now have teams of skilled, qualified healthcare professionals, which means they don’t always need to see the GP.

It encourages them to use the expertise of the full primary care team, so GPs can more quickly see the patients that most need them, reducing demand on their time.

The IGPM sets out examples of how different healthcare professionals might be used, such as repeat medication queries being dealt with by pharmacists, or earache and sinuses managed by a nurse practitioner or paramedic.

Employing and using a multi-skilled team to manage those coming in with minor illnesses and ailments means practices can improve access for these patients as well as free up GPs so they can focus on more serious cases, said Robyn Clark, managing partner in South Gloucestershire and director of the IGPM.

This also helps maintain continuity for ongoing problems, she added.

Kay Keane, a practice manager in Manchester, and IGPM director said patients need to be encouraged to share details of their request with the front desk team, ‘so we can work with them to get the right care, which isn’t always going to be with a GP’.

She said: ‘We don’t have just receptionists in general practice anymore, we have a team of highly skilled care navigators who will help patients to get the care that they need.’

The campaign video can be found here.