GP Forward View online consultation fund background

As you know, from 2017, CCGs will be responsible for driving the adoption of  e-consultations across all their practices. NHS England has a target of achieving 20% of all consultations via the online channel by 2020. To that end, CCG will be disbursing £45 million over 3 years on a per capita basis to their practices to pay for, and use, online consultation systems. This works out to be about £0.77 per patient over 3 years, assuming the service is made available to all patients in the country. It’s not a huge amount of money to achieve such a major transformation, so spending it effectively to meet that daunting challenge will be no mean feat.

You can check your CCG allocation by clicking here.

The expected benefits from e-consultation systems
have been identified as:

How will online consultations improve access to GP services?

Broadly, all existing online consultation systems achieve the first three benefits to a greater or lesser degree. The relative merits of each of these benefits may be argued about ad nauseam but one stark fact is true: If patients don’t use the system regularly in sufficient numbers, no measurable benefits will flow. And patients won’t use the system in large enough numbers if practices aren’t responsive.

The bottom line is, as long as managing  e-consultations is seen as “additional work” there will be no transformation of access. So steer clear of anything that promises transformation with no change. You wouldn’t believe a website claiming to transform your life with no effort on your behalf, so why would you believe such a claim from a commercial organisation?

To get the benefits of online consults, they have to happen regularly in large numbers and that will plainly impact on how surgeries currently operate. The issue is how to make that impact as light as possible. We can help with that.

What does your CCG need from
an e-consultation system?

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