A new NHS Hospital Contract came into force on 1st April 2017 which all NHS Organisations have signed.
What this means to you:
MEDICATION – The hospital attended is to supply medication with an adequate supply for the patients immediate clinical need until the GP receives the relevant clinic letter and can prescribe. We appreciate this change is frustrating but in line with this contractual obligation the GP surgery will not be able to issue you with consultant recommended medication even if you have a hospital prescription. You would need to obtain from the hospital attended or contact the consultant or a member of their team. Upon notification from the consultant the GP surgery may automatically add the medication change to your repeat list on the computer system. You will then be able to order your repeat medicaiton without an appointment.
SICK NOTES – Under Section 11, the contract sets out new requirements to reduce inappropriate bureaucratic workload shift onto GP Practices. NHS Trust Hospitals are now contracted to supply patients with the appropriate certification following discharge from an inpatient stay, day cases or following an outpatient appointment. The length of the note given to a patient should be provided for as long as required to anticipate the patients date of recovery or follow up.
RESULTS AND MEDICAL RELATED PROBLEMS – Results of investigations requested by hospital clinicians are to be communicated by hospital directly to patients.
Your consultant and their team are responsible for answering any concerns or queries you may have relating to your care under the hospital service, not the GP. By this change of contractual responsibilities it is hoped nationally that this will reduce millions of GP appointments wasted nationally, responding to patients queries relating to hospital care and/or test results directly arranged by their hospital consultant.
For medically related problems, the hospital is to refer onto other necessary departments i.e. if seen in the Pain Management Clinic for knee pain they can then refer you to the Orthopaedic Department if necessary regarding that knee. GPs will only have to provide a referral when the reason is not medically related to the original referral.
NON ATTENDANCE – If a patient does not attend a hospital appointment it is the hospital, not the GP, will liaise directly with the patient therefore the GP does not have to produce another referral (re-refer).
CLINIC LETTERS – Hospital clinic letters should be sent to the GP within 10 days.