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GP appointment call centres to lead to increase in private medical cover?

Published on 19/11/2010
Plans to introduce centralised call centres for booking GP appointments could encourage more people to take out private medical cover following criticism from the Patients' Association.

A report published by the Department of Health has recommended GPs consider the possibility of using national or regional call centres for booking appointments.

It is one suggestion in a series of proposals made by the report to streamline 'back office' functions in the NHS in order to save an estimated £600 million a year.

"The majority of GP practices have dedicated administrative support teams, often undertaking identical tasks, including the organisation and booking of patient appointments. This system should be radically re-engineered," it says.

However, speaking to the Daily Mail, Katherine Murphy of the Patients' Association said: "This completely contradicts the Government drive to make health services more locally accountable.

"Elderly patients in particular build up a close relationship with staff at the surgery. They now face being put through to someone they don't know, who has no local knowledge of the healthcare system.

"It opens the floodgates to all sorts of mistakes. It's an absolute monster of an idea."

Private medical cover provider Aviva Health recently conducted a survey that revealed that 97 per cent of GPs in the UK say they would like more time with patients than they currently get. 
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010

GP appointment call centres to lead to increase in private medical cover?Plans to introduce centralised call centres for booking GP appointments could encourage more people to take out private medical cover follow    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

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