Concerns raised over effectiveness of telephone GP consultations

The Telegraph has reported on a study by the University of Exeter Medical School which raises doubts over the effectiveness of telephone consultations in reducing the workload of GPs, as evidence has shown that patients receiving telephone consultations are 50% more likely to require a follow-up visit to a GP, compared to those having an initial face-to-face appointment. The research found that three out of four patients who received a phone call from their GP needed another appointment within 28 days, compared with half of those seen face-to-face, with the number rising to 88% for those whose initial phone consultation was with a nurse. One in ten GP consultation are now conducted by phone, four times the 1995 number.

Elsewhere, it has been reported that Labour will this week raise concerns over expectations that 10 million people might not be able to see their GP by 2020, amid estimates that the number has already increased under the Coalition from 4.7 million to 5.8.