Calling 111 instead of your GP? New plans say that we will not be allowed to operate our own appointment systems but to have a call centre do it for us.
Call centres work to PROTOCOLS. We in our practice work because the receptionists know people who are a bit vulnerable or chronically unwell – and we, the GPs, know it too. It is not a perfect system – but we try our best to be flexible and to fit into the community we work in.
What on earth is a call centre compared to that? And of course the next move will be to spend several hundred thousand on management consultants telling the NHS to outsource it to the private sector or abroad. The doctors involved in the pilot say that it will free receptionists to do ‘more important’ duties – such as what? Booking and organising appointments is a fundamental piece of general practice work. I despair.