Switching to 15 minute appointments for routine GP consultations
Since changing to the Urgent Care Day (see other Good Stuff) for on the day demand, we have become increasingly aware that patients attending face to face GP appointments for more routine problems were presenting with more complex issues that required more than 10 minutes per consultation.
One suggestion was to restrict the patients to one problem, one consultation as some GPs try to do. However, this is not always easy to accomplish when patients have multiple health issues that intertwine and is not the best way to provide good healthcare for our patients. Another option was to keep to 10 minute consultations and to start working through the issues, asking the patients to book a follow-up consultation to work on the next element of their care.
Having talked about this within the Practice and with our Locum GPs, we have decided to change the length of routine GP appointments to 15 minutes. Whilst this will restrict the number of appointments available, we feel that the benefits of giving patients more time with their GP on the initial visit, will reap the rewards of improving patient care and at the same time reducing the demand for follow up appointments.
We changed to this new way of working from January 2019, so it is in its infancy. We will need to review the amount of time that consultations actually take going forward and whether it also reduces the number of follow ups.
Watch this space for further updates .....