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Telephone-first strategy 'does not necessarily suit all practices'

Study finds introduction of T1 system increased workload at some general practioners.
GP on the phone

Study finds introduction of T1 system increased workload at some general practioners

Many UK general practices struggle with rising patient demand combined with staff recruitment problems.

This quantitative study evaluated the 'telephone first' (T1) strategy. This is a system whereby patients, requesting an appointment, speak to a GP on the phone that day before being given a face-to-face (f2f) appointment.

Data from 147 T1 practices were compared with a 10% random sample of English practices. Following the introduction of T1 the number of consultations increased from a mean average of 16.5 a day per 1,000 patients to 21.8. The number of f2f consultations decreased substantially (from a mean of 13 to 9.3).

The practices had a 12-fold increase in telephone consultations with the average duration decreasing over time, as did the duration for f2f consultations. The national GP Patient Survey for the T1 practices reported


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