Patient Safety Learning added a new entry to the News blog
GPs should continue to triage patients remotely and there are currently no plans for when the approach will end, NHS England has said.
GP leaders have also told Pulse they believe the ‘total triage’ arrangements will continue ‘for some time’, perhaps even beyond the end of the pandemic, due to the expectation that social distancing measures will continue.
However, other GPs revealed practices have stopped offering total triage because of workload pressures and the approach ‘not saving any time for some clinicians’.
NHS England said remote triage should remain in place where possible – and that the contractual exception allowing practices to suspend online appointment bookings still stands.
An NHS England spokesperson told Pulse it cannot yet say how long these arrangements will continue to be in place but it is committed to ensuring patients retain the option to access services digitally going forward.
Practices should use remote consultations and offer patients video appointments when appropriate, while ensuring patients have clear information about how to access services, the spokesperson said.
GPs should restore activity to usual levels where clinically appropriate and proactively reach out to the clinically vulnerable and those whose care may have been delayed, they added.
It comes as NHS England operational guidance last month revealed plans for practices to ‘significantly increase’ the use of online consultations as part of ‘embedding total triage’ – first introduced at the start of the pandemic to reduce transmission of coronavirus.