An urgent appeal has been issued to GPs to help staff a national clinical assessment phone-line.
The service, known as the CCAS, takes referrals from NHS 111 and needs doctors to undertake two four-hour sessions a week, according to an email circulated by NHS England. As the plight of Prime Minister Boris Johnson highlights the risks from Covid-19, calls to NHS 111 are expected to intensify today.
Practices are being offered incentives to release GPs through the use of extended access hours money. This is to enable doctors to undertake shifts during normal working hours. Under the arrangements, practices can loan doctors who work unpaid during their normal time – or they can undertake extra sessions at £200 a session. Doctors receive four hours training to be part of the service.
The email, obtained by the Health Service Journal, was sent to NHS England primary care directors and said: “We urgently need more GPs help to staff this service, especially as covid-19 cases increase over coming days, because of your expertise and experience.”