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17th November 2020

Workload prioritisation in General Practice

The RCGP and BMA have issued new guidance on workload prioritisation during the pandemic.

The guidance on workload prioritisation details six 'response levels' for practices, depending on COVID-19 prevalence in their area. These range from 0 when the pandemic is effectively over to level 5 where prevalence is very high and practices are in an 'emergency response' state.


The guidance stresses that at all levels of the framework practices should maintain 'public confidence that "general practice is open" and that where clinically appropriate, face to face access to GPs is possible'.

The RCGP and BMA say that, as of 5 November, most practices in the UK are providing a level 3 or level 4 response. Level 3 means COVID-19 prevalence is raised but has plateaued, level 4 is where prevalence is high or rising rapidly.

It suggests that practices in level 4 will have stopped a 'significant volume of non-essential work', those in level 3 will have stopped or delayed 'some non-essential work'. Any 'de-prioritisation' of services should be decided with commissioners and other local partners, the guidance adds.

See the guidance here