The GP Online has reported that “a total of 40 PCNs across England covering more than 2m patients have signed up with digital healthcare provider Livi to deliver enhanced access targets under the PCN DES contract.”
Our co-chair Dr Ellen Welch spoke to GP Online and said:
‘For PCNs to turn to private providers to meet the demands of the DES is unsurprising given the current climate. It’s yet another nail in the coffin for the provision of core GP services, which we know are already struggling.
‘Diverting staff and funding to Livi instead of focusing on sustainable solutions feels very much like shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic.’
DAUK’s GP lead Dr Lizzie Toberty added: ‘Easy access to an online GP is great for some simple problems but the worry is we are flooding general practice with appointments without thinking about the type of appointments we are providing. Continuity of care for complex patients doesn’t fit into this model and we would like to see strategies from NHS England to account for this.’