PHYSIOS and pharmacists will take over millions of GP appointments under radical plans to save the NHS.
Health bosses claim it will cut waiting times and allow GPs to spend more time dealing with complex cases. The five-year deal with the British Medical Association also means GP practices will land a share of a £300million pot if they keep more people out of hospital.
NHS England chief Simon Stevens said: “This deal represents the biggest boost to primary care in more than 15 years — giving patients more convenient services at their local GP surgery. Patients across England will see the benefits beginning this year.”
Physios will offer services such as musculo-skeletal checks to OAPs to slash the risk of falls.
Pharmacists will carry out basic health checks, routine follow-ups and medicine reviews.
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Medical assistants — science graduates with two years’ training — can also examine pat- ients. And there will be a ban on family doctors advertising private work or running paid-for clinics from their surgery.
Dr Richard Vautrey, British Medical Association GP committee chair, said the deal would “lay the foundations for a general practice fit for the future”.
Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said she hoped it would mean “finally turning a corner”.
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