NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard pledges to help GPs see patients

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The public understands that family doctors are the front door to the health service, which is why the NHS has set out a clear plan today to make access to GPs easier.

We will encourage and support GPs to provide more patient consultations, including increasing the proportion of appointments carried out face to face, reflecting patients’ preferences.

The Daily Mail continues to be a strong voice for patients, and throughout the pandemic the newspaper has given fantastic backing to NHS staff as they have worked relentlessly to help the country.

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GPs and their teams are vital to patients and to the wider NHS: primary care has delivered the lion’s share of the country’s most successful vaccination programme ever, while also conducting more than 300 million appointments.

Patients value their GP, so it’s understandable that they want quick, convenient and reassuring care and support from them.

And I know the overwhelming majority of GPs and teams provide exactly this, with our package of measures today targeting additional resources to increase access where practices are not offering the appropriate level of in-person appointments.

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But we need to go further, and for too many patients it is more difficult than before Covid to get an appointment as quickly as they may have in the past, not least because of the major challenges caused by the pandemic. 

The right consultation with a GP can spot serious issues early, which is better for people’s health, prevents problems escalating and can reduce additional demand on other staff, allowing them to focus on delivering care for other patients. 

The measures we’re setting out today will reinforce primary care as we head into what will be a tough winter, and will give practices resources to boost capacity to see patients over the coming months.

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We’re also investing in better technology for surgeries, to tackle the frustration that is felt by both patients and surgery staff, when people face long waits over the phone to a practice.

The plan we’re publishing today will help ensure Mail readers and people across the country get the care and support they need from their GP, which I know is rightly so valued by our patients and so essential to our NHS.

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