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With the NHS facing a surge in cases of Covid-19 (coronavirus) infection, now is the time to review activity in primary care, and suspend all non-essential administrative and management tasks. This would include, for example, stopping Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections; appraisals and revalidation of medical staff; non-clinical mandatory training; and non-essential performance targets. This would free up primary care teams – including medical, nursing and administrative staff – to focus on managing people with Covid-19 infection, as well the clinical management of the many other patients who present in primary care.
Furthermore, based on the experience in countries such as China and Italy, it is likely that a high proportion of front-line NHS staff will themselves fall ill, putting additional pressure on the remaining staff.[1,2] We need to ensure these remaining staff are not undertaking non-essential administrative tasks and can focus on providing clinical care. A well-functioning NHS primary care system will in turn help other parts of the NHS, such as emergency departments, manage their workload and allow the NHS to cope better with the consequences of the Covid-19 epidemic.