More GP staff to be recruited ahead of winter

More than a thousand GP assistants are set to be recruited to practices in an attempt to free up doctors' time to see more patients.

The GP assistants will offer more admin support, do blood pressure checks, heart rate and blood tests and arrange appointments, referrals and follow-up care for patients.

Up to 1,250 digital and transformation leads will also be recruited to improve patient access to primary care.

Each primary care network will have a digital lead, who will ensure practices are using the latest technology, offer more telephone lines and offer support with the NHS app.

Dr Amanda Doyle, national director of primary and community care, said: “Giving patients timely and convenient access to GPs and primary care is vital, especially during winter, which is why we are introducing brand new roles and giving GPs more flexibility to create teams that best meet the needs of their local population.

“NHS staff have worked incredibly hard to deliver record numbers of GP appointments for patients, with 11 million more this year so far than the same period last year, and more than four in five people who book an appointment seen within two weeks, including two fifths who are seen on the same day.

“The introduction of GP assistants can reduce the time doctors spend on correspondence by up to 85%, while also carrying out basic clinical tasks such as taking patients’ blood pressure and heart rate, meaning doctors have more time to do what they care about most – treating patients – while digital leads will help practices use the latest technology to manage demand and capacity”.

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