NHS campaign to tackle 50 million 'unnecessary' GP visits a year

A campaign to cut pressure on GP practices by encouraging patients to self care for minor ailments such as hayfever has been launched by NHS chiefs.

GP consultations: 50m a year may be unnecessary
GP consultations: 50m a year may be unnecessary

The NHS Choose Well Summer Campaign aims to educate patients to self care or visit their pharmacist for common health complaints, rather than attending A&E or visiting their GP.

The campaign, led by the National Self Care Forum, has also commenced a patient survey to understand why people visit their GP instead of attempting self care.

More than 51 million unnecessary GP visits occur each year, including 5.2 million for blocked noses and 40,000 for dandruff.

Crawley GP Dr Paul Stillman, a member of the National Self Care Forum, said: ‘We have a growing older population in England. More people are living longer with complex or long-term health conditions – this is great news for everyone, but it does mean we need to take steps so that we can focus more resources on these potentially vulnerable groups of people.

‘We are not saying that people should not go to see their GP or use their A&E, emergency and 999 services if they believe they are seriously ill. We need to understand how we can encourage them to help themselves for common problems.’

He said more self care would allow limited NHS resources to be used more effectively.

The campaign will use fliers, social media and a colouring competition for primary school aged children to learn about self care.

Since 2010, first attendances at A&E and emergency departments have risen by 16.5%.

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

External wall of GP surgery with wording 'medical centre'

‘Utterly toxic’: GPs speak out over abuse and physical attacks on practice teams

GPs have condemned a rise in verbal and physical attacks on practice staff - warning...

Artist's image of a spiked virus

Javid warns of 'substantial risk' from new COVID-19 variant

The highly mutated COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529 'may pose a significant risk to public...

Desk with lettering 'LMC conference'

LMCs reject 'outdated' GMS contract and demand move to item of service payments

LMCs have voted to scrap the 'outdated and inadequate' GMS contract and to replace...

GPs at an LMC conference waving green voting cards in the air

LMCs demand ringfence on enhanced services cash and clear GP representation in ICSs

LMCs have called for a ringfence on enhanced services funding, along with a guarantee...

Close up of hands typing on a computer

Practices should not be required to provide online consultations, say LMCs

Online consultations should no longer be a part of the GMS contract and targets for...

Sign outside BMA House

More than half of GP practices prepared to pull out of PCNs, BMA ballot shows

More than half of GP practices in England are prepared to opt out of the PCN DES...