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DAUK were disheartened to read the latest SOP from NHS England to ‘support restoration of General Practice Services’.

In March last year, NHS England mandated the move to ‘total triage’ in primary care to limit the spread of Covid-19, protecting both patients and staff. GP Teams have been working harder than ever behind the scenes offering digital solutions to patients alongside face-to-face appointments when needed. The latest figures from NHS digital showed practices are delivering 3 million more appointments per month than pre-pandemic in March 2019.

DAUK Spokesperson Dr Ellen Welch said: “As GP’s, we assume it is common knowledge that primary care has changed its way of working during the pandemic to ‘remote first’, but this message been distorted, leaving the public confused, and often angry, mistakenly believing that their GP surgery has been closed all year. The wording of this SOP sadly fuels this myth, which has been disseminated by some sections of the media.”

Last month, DAUK wrote to NHS leaders, calling for an urgent review into the current demands on general practice. We have a meeting planned with Healthwatch to discuss these issues and we are waiting on a response from the government.

Dr Lizzie Toberty, GP Spokesperson said: “Primary care is not coping with the current demand and this latest communication from NHSE will only worsen this. We simply do not have enough resources to offer everyone who would like it a face-to-face appointment and surgeries should be able to utilise digital solutions at their discretion, to manage the demands of their own communities.”

DAUK have written again today to NHSE in support of our primary care colleagues: