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GPs should return to offering face-to-face appointments without prior triage, says NHS

BMJ 2021; 373 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n1251 (Published 14 May 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n1251
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

The NHS has told general practices to return to offering patients face-to-face appointments without needing prior telephone or online triage, reversing a policy that has been in place since the start of the pandemic.

A row has surfaced in recent days after the Telegraph reported1 that NHS guidance continued to advise practices to use the “total triage” model, introduced in 2020 to reduce the risk of infection spreading at GP surgeries. The model requires patients to undergo a remote assessment before they can be offered a face-to-face consultation if one is deemed necessary.

But doctors and patient groups have voiced concerns that the system may be preventing some patients from accessing the care they need, and the Royal College of General Practitioners said in a report this week that remote consulting should be …

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