Inappropriate workload shift from Providers such as Acute Trusts, Community Services and Mental Health providers to GPs is sadly common place. Whilst the NHS Standard Contract has a number of contractural requirements which relate to Primary and Secondary Interface, General Practice continues to receives requests from Providers directly or via the Patient to action tasks which the Providers are contractually obliged to undertake themselves. This is a longstanding issue, one which not only increases risk to patient safety, places an unnecessary and inappropriate burden on General Practice but also can cause tension between Providers.
The extent of the issue has increased significantly due to COVID. Whilst other Providers ‘build back better’ to improve efficiencies for their services, work through long waiting lists and incur wide spread delays in re-establishing services stood down at the height of the pandemic, GPs continue to be the face of the NHS and receive harsh criticism from the media and often patients, taking the blame for far wider failings that are outside of their control.
The Winter access fund has identified there is a need for drastic action in order to improve access to GPs, and Providers actioning their own requests play a significant role in achieving this so GP Practice has more time available to focus on direct patient care, whether that be via remote access or face to face.
In order to respond to any Providers who transfer workload inappropriately to GPs, we have compiled a number of template letters for you to download and amend accordingly.
They include templates we have sourced through the BMA and Cambridge LMC who have kindly provided their consent for us to use.
The template letters available include, but not limited to, secondary care work transfer including requests for fit notes, inappropriate prescribing requests, requests to follow up investigations performed in other settings and post operative checks.