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COVID-19: a danger and an opportunity for the future of general practice

Marshall, M; Howe, A; Howsam, G; Mulholland, M; Leach, J; (2020) COVID-19: a danger and an opportunity for the future of general practice. British Journal of General Practic , 70 (695) pp. 270-271. 10.3399/bjgp20X709937.

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Abstract

For decades there have been calls for general practice to change established ways of working. In response we have seen pockets of innovation from a few, amid a cautious evolutionary process of adaptation from the majority. With good reason, many GPs were attached to their time-honoured working practices. No need was seen by most for radical transformation. Over a few weeks between mid-March and early April 2020, general practice changed utterly, and voluntarily, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the crisis a minority of practices used doctor-led triage as the access point for services; within weeks nearly all were doing so. Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) analysis of general practice appointments data shows that before the crisis >70% of consultations were carried out face-to-face; within weeks the figure was 23%. Before the crisis clinical workload had become unsustainable; within weeks year-on-year comparisons showed that the number of consultations carried out by practices had reduced by 24%.1 Before the crisis administrative tasks and regulatory compliance diverted practices from direct patient care; within weeks year-on-year comparisons reported a 30% reduction in time spent on such activities.

Type: Article
Title: COVID-19: a danger and an opportunity for the future of general practice
Location: England
DOI: 10.3399/bjgp20X709937
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3399/bjgp20X709937
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Primary Care and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10100730
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