GP scheme uses the power of data to free up thousands of appointments for patients

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Successful NHS England Time for Care programme extended for three more years

A GP practice in West Leicestershire has freed up over 160 GP appointments a week through a new initiative which directs patients with minor illnesses to local pharmacists for treatment.

The Measham Medical Unit is one of a number of GP practices across the country that have freed up more than half a million hours of time for patients in England in the last year thanks to the new Time for Care programme.

By directing people with minor illnesses such as sore throats, coughs, diarrhoea and vomiting to local pharmacists, the Measham Medical Unit has reduced the number of minor illness appointments booked into the clinic by 22%, freeing up over 160 GP appointments per week (8,320 over the span of a full year).

New Picture 7Dr Kirk Moore, GP, Measham Medical Unit, said: “The Time for Care programme opened my eyes to the power of data and how it can make a difference to the way people think and work. No change happens in our practice now without the use of data.”


West Leicestershire CCG Director of Primary Care Ian Potter, said: “We have encouraged GP practices to be involved in the programme which has, as the results at Measham demonstrate, made a positive impact to the practice and patients. We hope sharing the learning will promote good practice across our area.”

The Time for Care programme has been extended for three years beyond its original March 2019 end date and aims to cover three quarters of GP practices by 2022.

Dr Nikita Kanani, NHS England’s Medical Director for Primary Care, said: “This programme has had significant benefits for patients and GPs alike, freeing up doctors’ time and NHS resources to ensure people get the care they need as quickly as possible, as part of our Long Term Plan for the health service.

“GP services will continue to be at the heart of our health service, and it makes sense to invest for another three years in a programme that is delivering so much for patients while helping us to be more efficient.”

The three-year extension is part of a £30m investment in a national programme for General Practice Development committed to in the GP Forward View.

For more detail on the Time for Care programme visit the ‘Releasing time for care’ web page.