NHS England is committed to taking action to address the issues identified in this landmark study. We are working on a suite of measures to be at national level which will reduce workload.
Progress in some areas is already underway. For example, as announced by the Secretary of State on 29 October 2015, the rules for hospitals have been changed to ensure that any patient failing to attend a hospital appointment can rebook it within two weeks without the GP needing to make a new referral. This will help with the three per cent of GP appointments shown to relate to outpatient administration.
As part of a workstream that is seeking to minimise the workload associated with regulation for general practice. NHS England, the Care Quality Commission and the General Medical Council have agreed to work together to reduce the workload and duplication associated with their respective responsibilities for the oversight of regulation. This statement of intent has been drafted into a document which has been co-produced by the three organisations.
Actions at practice level
The Making Time study also showed that up to 18 per cent of GP appointments could be avoided if services were organised differently. Through discussions with the profession and our own work supporting practice innovation, it is clear that there are ways in which practices can help themselves.
NHS England also intends to support the spread of promising innovations which can be implemented at local level, by practices on their own or in networks and federations.
The GP Access Fund is already producing examples of successful innovations which improve productivity in practices at the same time as improving services for patients.
In partnership with British Medical Association, NHS England hosted a series of roadshows in February and March 2016. These provided a practical introduction to the most promising changes that practices can make to help themselves. Through 2016, we will continue the work of spreading practical ideas. These pages will be updated to provide the latest information and resources.