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Sample GP day – Respond to Demand!

Based on the principles of meeting the patient’s need in the simplest, fastest most efficient way, you decide how to organise your day. The sample below offers 40 telephone slots at 5 minutes each and 18 face to face slots at 10 minutes.

It is good to start on the conservative side, average telephone consult 5 minutes, though many GPs trim this to 4 minutes over time. This plan allows for a telephone resolve rate of 55%:  most soon resolve 60% which gives two free face to face slots.

The plan has time for breaks in the morning, at lunchtime and in the afternoon, which are important for rest, meeting with colleagues and non-clinical work. It shows a start time of 8:00 but if your reception takes calls from 8:30, move everything back half an hour. Starting together is crucial to rapid response and staying in control of the day.

However, you also need to allow flexibility if demand is higher than average on some days, there are ups and downs.  Try to avoid turning turning patients away – it is better to to add extra slots, or convert some face to face to telephone and respond quickly.

As you will soon appreciate, the truth is that it’s not about slots at all!

TimeActivityMinutes  
8:00Telephone slots5 min x 24 = 120 min
10:00Coffee time
10:30Alternating 3 f2f, 2 telephone,10 min x 6
+ 5 min x 4 = 80 min
12:00Lunch, admin, visits
13:30Telephone slots5 min x 6 = 30 min
14:00Alternating 2 f2f, 1 telephone for rest of afternoon
10 min x 12 = 120 min
5 min x 6 = 30 min
15:00Tea time
17:00Wrap up remaining paperworkTotal of 40 telephone slots and 18 face to face, 6 hrs 20
Up to 18:30Duty doctor covers contract hours