Booking plan will erode relationship with patients, say GPs

GPs have expressed outrage at plans to make practice staff redundant and set up call centres to handle appointments.

Dr Chaudhury: booking call centre would be similar to that of banks (Photograph: Pete Hill)

Bristol GP Dr Tom Frewin called the idea 'absolutely ludicrous'. 'Someone in London should be shot for allowing this out,' he said. 'It's rubbish.'

West Midlands GP Dr Charles Broomhead said he could not imagine anyone thinking this was a good idea.

'Each practice is so complex and so individual that it's almost a cottage industry. All the local sensitivity would be lost,' he warned.

Nottingham GP Dr Jonathan Harte said call centres would be the first step towards an entirely salaried GP service.

'We are small businesses and we need control over the staff.

If they're going to take that away, it won't work,' he said.

Dr Saheli Chaudhury, a GP in York, likened it to banks moving to a call centre system. 'It eroded my relationship with the bank when mine did that.

A general practice is a community and this would erode that,' she said.

'Sometimes even a scrip request means we may have to talk to the patient.'

Derbyshire GP Dr John Grenville said the idea made no sense since practices would still need receptionists in core hours. 'There needs to be someone there to let patients in to the see doctors,' he said.

He said the idea assumed receptionists did nothing but answer calls, which was untrue.

They also deal with requests for repeat prescriptions, certificates and forms, incoming post and other administrative tasks, he said. 'They should look at making more appointments online.'

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:


Just published

phone and laptop

Blanket rollout of patient record access programme halted

Plans to roll out access for all patients to prospective entries to their GP medical...

GP sign

Scottish GP capacity hits lowest point in more than a decade

Scotland has lost 3% of its full-time equivalent (FTE) GP workforce since 2019 -...

coins

GPs fear funding cuts and sidelining of LMCs as ICS model beds in

GPs fear hospital trust overspends could become 'general practice's problem' as representation...

Doctor on a computer

3 reasons why recruiting with GP Jobs makes your life easier

How GP Jobs can help you fill vacancies in your practice.

Amoxicillin antibiotic drug capsules

Viewpoint: How can we reduce antibiotic prescribing?

Dr Anita Sharma, who has been involved with several antibiotic prescribing initiatives...

Person typing on laptop

Complaints against GPs up 37% compared with pre-pandemic levels

Written complaints about GP practices have surged by more than a third compared with...