Government unveils seven-point plan to reduce GP bureaucracy

In a transfer designed to ‘launch extra time to give attention to affected person care’, the federal government promised as a part of the 2020/21 GP contract deal to evaluation forms usually apply alongside NHS England.

The evaluation is ongoing – however a ‘concordat’ revealed on 23 August units out seven ideas to scale back forms and admin work usually apply. It comes after the federal government admitted in November 2020 that GPs confronted an unfair burden from layers of regulation.

BMA GP committee England deputy chair Dr Kieran Sharrock stated basic apply workload was ‘at an all-time excessive’ and turning into more and more advanced – and {that a} discount in forms was important.

GP forms

The BMA has urged all authorities departments to enroll to the seven ideas – which come simply days after the Treasury floated a proposal to ask GPs to ‘prescribe’ cash off vitality payments for sufferers struggling to warmth their houses this winter.

The seven ideas set out within the concordat – developed with enter from the BMA and the RCGP – are:

  • All insurance policies ought to be designed with the affected person and affected person journey on the coronary heart of the method, to make sure a minimal administrative burden for individuals accessing authorities providers.
  • Normal apply ought to solely be required to supply proof of a medical nature when it’s unavailable by different means. All the time contemplate why factual medical proof or opinion is required and solely request whether it is completely needed with as little frequency and depth as attainable. Due consideration ought to be given to how this request for proof ought to be funded if the request is made from basic apply workers.
  • When introducing or reviewing an current requirement for a medical certificates or examination, be sure that essentially the most acceptable skilled for the job is ready to certify, selling options to the GP, together with different members of the first care crew every time attainable and acceptable.
  • When requesting medical data, guarantee standardised kinds can be found to be used and be sure that all data requests are as clear and concise as attainable.
  • All the time contemplate digital kinds fairly than paper-based approaches, with standardisation and the potential for automation or information sharing the place acceptable, although digital options in themselves don’t at all times scale back forms. The place attainable these options ought to be built-in into basic apply techniques.
  • When altering or designing a brand new course of or kind, guarantee it has been co-designed with those that might be utilizing it, for instance GPs or different acceptable healthcare professionals, to make sure it’s person pleasant and helps our intention to scale back forms.
  • If solely medical historical past is required, the place acceptable make provision for the choice for sufferers to supply this themselves fairly than requiring it from a GP or well being skilled. The place attainable, this course of ought to be designed with out want for GP ratification.


The federal government stated it hoped that departments adopting the insurance policies may result in insurance policies being designed with GP representatives and elevated consciousness of how adjustments in coverage have an effect on the occupation, in addition to a transfer to creating positive well being professionals within the wider apply crew have been capable of full duties in addition to GPs.

Dr Sharrock stated: ‘GP workload is at an all-time excessive and turning into more and more advanced. That’s why it’s important that any pointless forms or administrative burdens are diminished in order that GPs
can spend as a lot time as attainable with their sufferers, giving them the care and a focus they want.

‘Multi-disciplinary apply groups signifies that not every little thing must be achieved a GP – comparable to medical certification – and spreading this out can dramatically minimise the quantity of additional work household docs must juggle. It additionally signifies that requests for these items are sometimes processed a lot quicker, thereby serving to the complete system operate extra effectively.

“We’re happy DHSC and NHS England recognise the potential of what empowering practices to take cost of their workload can do, and hope all authorities departments signal as much as this concordat and its seven ideas – which the BMA helped develop – to make sure pointless forms usually apply can lastly begin to be relieved.’

Crimson tape

Minister for major care and affected person security James Morris stated: ‘Certainly one of my key priorities has been to raised perceive how we can assist scale back the day by day pressures GPs and their groups face.

‘As we speak we now have revealed a brand new set of ideas, developed with enter from the BMA and RCGP, to scale back pointless forms. By reducing pink tape we will guarantee GPs and their workers have extra time to give attention to offering high-quality medical look after sufferers.

‘We have now already made £520m obtainable to develop basic apply capability in the course of the pandemic, on prime of not less than £1.5bn till 2024 to assist create an additional 50m basic apply appointments a 12 months, and we now have elevated the variety of GP coaching locations up from 2,671 in 2014 to 4,000 a 12 months.’

GPonline reported final 12 months that medical administrative work usually apply was up by a 3rd in contrast with ranges seen earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic.

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