Practices encouraged to rethink access to general practice in academic study


A new academic study by a Manchester GP has been published by the British Journal of General Practice.

The British Journal of General Practice (BJGP) has published a paper on access by Manchester-based GP, Jennifer Voorhees.

Jennifer, a GP in Tameside and NIHR clinical lecturer at the University of Manchester, authored the paper ‘A paradox of problems in accessing general practice: a qualitative participatory case study’.

Based on her NIHR doctoral research, the paper explores the importance of considering the human aspects when introducing new GP access models.

It highlights the challenges of dealing with increasing demand – which often results in access models that prioritise speed over continuity of care – leading to an increase in workloads and exacerbating health inequalities for the most at-risk groups in society.

The research encourages practices to consider the ‘human fit’ by shifting the current focus from demand to dealing proactively with unmet need, rethink rules where flexibility is needed and restore continuity to better reach patients with the most health needs.

The work has informed a wider NIHR-funded research project undertaken by Jennifer and colleagues at The University of Manchester and University of Kent, which focuses on working with patients and general practice staff to make general practice more collaborative, compassionate and accessible for all.

The project, known as OATH (Optimising Access Through Human fit), has a number of resources to help general practice staff and patients to work together to understand each other’s needs around access.

Improving access to primary care is a key aspect of the Delivery plan for recovering access to primary care and the Greater Manchester Primary Care Blueprint.

Further information about access, including resources and a number of case studies from GM practices and PCNs, can be found on the PCB website.