Call centre claims rejected by health minister

Claims that GP receptionists will be replaced by call centres have been dismissed by health minister Lord Howe.

Lord Howe: the government has no plans to replace GP receptionists with call centres
Lord Howe: the government has no plans to replace GP receptionists with call centres

Talking at the NHS Alliance conference in Bournemouth this week, Lord Howe said the government has no plans to make these changes.

He said: 'I was very surprised to read yesterday that the government was planning to introduce a national GP call centre and to sack tens of thousands of GP receptionists.

'Take it from me that the government are planning no such thing.'

A report issued this week by Foundation Trust Network said the NHS could save £600m by moving appointment booking to ‘regional or national GP appointment centres’.

The GPC has dismissed the plans as having ‘no validity’ and said the system would put a barrier between patients and their GPs. The committee said the idea would probably increase NHS costs, rather than make savings as suggested.

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