General Practitioners: Coronavirus

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 1 September 2020.

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Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Chair, Education Committee, Chair, Education Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when GP surgeries will move from total triage to regular service as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The way in which people access general practice services changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Practices are offering more triage and remote consultations by telephone and online, in the first instance, in order to see as many patients as possible while protecting staff and patients from avoidable risk of infection.

The total triage model enables general practitioner practices to ensure that every patient receives care from the right person or service at the right time. It does not restrict the type of appointment practices can offer.

On 31 July NHS England and NHS Improvement issued guidance on moving to Phase 3 in the response to COVID-19. Guidance made clear that practices must continue to offer face-to-face appointments at their surgeries as well as continuing to use remote triage and video, online and telephone consultation wherever appropriate – whilst also considering those who are unable to access or engage with digital services.

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