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NEWS: Phone response targets shelved in Wales

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Practices in Wales will not be expected to meet “unrealistic” targets for patient access over the coming year, it has been announced. One proposed target would have required practices to answer nearly all patient calls within two minutes of the end of any introductory recorded message. A guarantee on the revaluation of premises has also…

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NEWS: Probe into practice inspection bias claims

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An investigation has been launched into claims that government inspectors are being excessively harsh on practices run by GPs from ethnic minority backgrounds. The Royal College of GPs has ordered the independent inquiry after “impassioned” calls for action from several doctors on its ruling council. The college is also pressing the Care Quality Commission to…

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NEWS: GP appointments fall as practices focus on vaccination

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The pressures of the vaccination programme may have led to a slump in routine GP appointments, according to new data, published amid continuing concerns about the coordination of the programme. Numbers of appointments have stayed below six million every week this year, according to NHS Digital, while a year ago they were routinely above six…

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NEWS: New court twist in practice rental dispute

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A long-running dispute over the cost of practices based in government-owned buildings has taken a new turn – placing many practices in legal jeopardy, it has been revealed. Five practices, at the cutting edge the dispute, are set to be sued over alleged non-payment of rent and service charges totalling more than a million pounds,…

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NEWS: Patients with cancer symptoms delayed GP advice during pandemic first wave

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The first wave of the pandemic significantly reduced public willingness to approach general practitioners about possible cancer symptoms, it has been claimed. A new survey has found that nearly half of those with potential symptoms did not contact their GP during the first wave last year. The findings reinforce concerns that the pandemic has led…

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NEWS: e-Referral changes to speed up appointments

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Changes to electronic patient referral systems should enable practices to cut the time involved in the process, it has been announced. NHS Digital said it had improved the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS), to help make referring easier. The changes have been made following feedback from GPs and consultants and it means provider clinicians can now…

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NEWS: Dismay as Scotland presses for more practice opening hours

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GP leaders have reacted in dismay to a Scottish parliamentary report pressing for extended opening hours for practices. Scottish parliamentarians said they were calling for a “radical revision” of primary care – but their proposals reopened the long-running controversy from the last decade about claims that practice opening times are unfriendly for patients. The report…

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