Firms target GP customer services

Private sector companies are to develop ways to improve customer service skills in GP practices for the DoH.

A DoH spokesman said the scheme would focus on cost-effective ways of ameliorating the patient experience, such as 'improving the way reception-ists greet people'.

Dr Mike Warburton, England's director for GP access leads the scheme, and hopes to incentivise GPs to invest in patient participation groups.

GPC negotiator Dr Chaand Nagpaul said a central diktat on how to develop customer service was not the best approach.

'How to be responsive to the needs of patients will vary from practice to practice and we don't need a national prescription of how GPs should approach this.

'It is erroneous to transfer the concept of customer service from the commercial sector into general practice. We are not trying to emulate an approach that is entirely to increase profits.'

Minimum standards in customer service have already been developed in Heart of Birmingham PCT's 'complete care franchise,' an APMS-style contract.

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

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