Dr Chris Mimnagh: 25 consultations a day is a nice idea, but it's unlikely to happen

Do you get your 25 a day?

I must admit there was a certain appeal in the BMA proposals to establish locality hubs which will help limit a GP to the 'safe' level of 25 consultations a day.

Trouble is once the dream of spending most of the week with your feet up or playing golf disappears and you return to reality, the nagging voices of reason and evidence start to make you question the concept.

Our current workload is about 34 consultations per GP per day. We use a bespoke physician assessment by telephone (PHAT) model, which supports both continuity and access. We even have evidence showing that we do make less good decisions after 24 patients.

But who will see the 10 'extras' per GP per day that currently seek primary medical services? We can’t take a lesson from the airline business as we’re so often told, because their solution is to offer priority boarding for an additional charge.

And that's where the logic of the 25-a-day falls over, we need more GPs, less demanding patients, greater specialist support for long-term care and population-based health services and all this requires money and will take at least five years to sort out.

So 25-a-day will remain a nice idea, but the chances of making it into a reality are very slim.

  • Dr Chris Mimnagh is a GP in Liverpool and co-director of clinical strategy at the NHS partnership organisation Liverpool Health Partners

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