Perhaps, looking back, we’ll see it as a milestone.
The Public Accounts Committee is a forum for MPs to grill public servants on how they are spending our money. Last Monday it considered the matter of GP access.
Ros Roughton, NHS England Director of Commissioning, is my star of the show – you can watch the recording. She doesn’t simply rehearse the problems, but highlights the evidence that GP telephone consultations implemented at scale have freed up time for more complex patients, as many don’t need a face to face. We’ve only been saying this for five years – she was reporting our work with Brighton and Birmingham PM GP Access Fund projects.
Chair Meg Hillier MP is quick to respond with the obvious question, “Where there is really good practice which could just be rolled out, what is NHS England doing about it?”
Well, there’s more to it than telephone consulting, and of course online access frees up even more capacity. But without understanding demand no system can work properly, so the MEPRA model makes it simple:
Measure – Predict – Respond – Adjust
Hundreds have downloaded our new paper which explains the how: Enabling Demand-Led General Practice
So, NHS England, the evidence is crying out, let’s roll. Health boards in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are in touch too. Don’t let patients suffer any longer and return with pride to answer the PAC next time.