One practice undertook the Appropriate Appointments module from PGP Quick Start to identify ways in which staff skills could be used more appropriately, so that patients could be seen at the right time, by the right person at the right place.
After putting in place the project, the following changes were realised:
- Five hours of the Duty GP time has been released per week.
- This has the potential to create 1,560 extra 10 minute appointments per year, or more appropriately to this practice, 260 hours of GP time.
- While this change alone contributes to only a small area of the work in this practice the Appropriate Appointments module and Primary Care Foundation audit, followed by a detailed action plan for changes, has provided significant evidence that a nurse practitioner can replace the vacant GP position.
- There will be a cost saving of £15,000 by employing a nurse practitioner instead of a GP.
- The benefits for patients include availability of an increased number of appointments, shorter waiting times for appointments, GPs having more time to deal with complex home visits, responses to requests are dealt with in a timelier manner, and reception education is enhanced as the nursing team replies in a more standardised manner.
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