General practice

General practice

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30 June 2022

Anyone in England can register with a GP surgery. It’s free to register and you do not need proof of address or immigration status, ID or an NHS number. Here in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent there are 145 general practices.

99% of practices across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are currently rated by the CQC as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’, with work ongoing for those practices rated as ‘Requires Improvement’. We currently have no practices rated ‘Inadequate’.

A quality visit programme has taken place in 2021/22 as a two-way conversation on areas such as workforce and access. Themes and trends will be gathered once the programme is complete early in 2022/23 to share learning and identify any additional support for practices.

GP surgeries are usually the first contact if you have a health problem. They can treat many conditions and give health advice. They can also refer you to other NHS services.

To find your nearest GP surgery or others in your areas then you can use the NHS GP finder.

Access to general practice

During the COVID-19 pandemic, access to general practice has been challenging with key drivers to this including pent-up demand, donning and doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE) and social distancing challenges within the general practice buildings and also the longer waits on the telephones due to vaccination and outpatient referral queries.

Since early into the pandemic, the primary care team have continued to develop and implement a seven-point access action plan which includes communications, the rollout of an access improvement programme with NHS England’s Time to Care team, digital solutions, record keeping, quality/variation/resilience, training and development and workload initiatives.

Some key achievements have included:

  • the widespread ability for general practice to work remotely by providing the relevant digital infrastructure
  • ongoing communications with the public on how general practice is operating
  • the continuing implementation of the community pharmacy consultation service to facilitate patients having a same-day appointment with their community pharmacist for minor illnesses or an urgent supply of a regular medicine
  • improving access to services
  • providing more convenient treatment closer to patients’ homes.
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