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November 18, 2003 11:00 AM

Glasgow is making good progress in taking forward local plans to meet the new national target for access to primary care services.

That's the message which Ian Reid, Chief Executive of Greater Glasgow Primary Care NHS Trust, will be giving in an update report at today's NHS Greater Glasgow Board meeting.

This covers face-to-face, telephone or email access to a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional and not access to a specific named individual.The national target, which comes into force on 1 April 2004, aims to ensure that patients can access an appropriate member of the primary care team in no more than 48 hours

In order to meet the target local Primary Care Trusts must demonstrate that their practices can meet one or more of 6 criteria set by the Scottish Executive to measure quality and access. These include the ability to offer an appointment with an appropriate healthcare professional within 48hrs, the achievement of practice accreditation and the ability to offer triage by a doctor or a nurse by telephone or face to face.

A summary of Glasgow's performance against the access criteria is outlined below:

  • 96.5% of the practices in Greater Glasgow which participated in the September 2003 appointment stocktake met the 48hr target for appointments compared to only 75% in December 2002  (80% of all practices participated in the recent stocktake compared with only 49% in December 2002)

  • practices currently meet the access target or have strategies in place to improve access and the Trust has developed an action plan to ensure that the remaining 32 practices (14%) have systems in place to meet the access target all86% of
  • 92% of practices have either achieved RCGP or QPA Accreditation or are expected to achieve it by 31 March 2004 and plans are in place to help the remaining 17 practices (8%) achieve accreditation during 2004

  • Telephone triage – a triage training programme is already underway and will be extended across the city over the next 2 years to enable practices to assess and prioritise patients

  • Advanced access –  a major programme of practice redesign has commenced and will be rolled out across the city over the next 3 years to improve access and quality as part of the Scottish Primary Care Collaborative scheme

  • Open access, where practices operate on a drop-in basis rather then offer appointments is available in a number of practices across the city, in line with local demand

Ian Reid, Chief Executive of Greater Glasgow Primary Care NHS Trust, said: "Good progress is being made across the city and an action plan has been developed to ensure, that over the next few months, any practices which do not currently meet the access target will be able to do so."

He added: "While the results of the recent appointment stocktake are very encouraging it is important to remember that these only reflect availability at a single point in time and will obviously vary, depending on local demand.  That's why we are also looking at different ways of improving access in the longer term through the introduction of direct access clinics and the development of our major chronic disease management programme for conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke."

* RCGP Accreditation is a national scheme which measures practices against service standards with the aim of monitoring and improving services. QPA is a quality assurance process designed to measure performance against 16 sets of clinical and non clinical criteria.




For further information please contact Elsbeth Campbell, Head of Communications, Greater Glasgow Primary Care NHS Trust on 0141 211 3891.



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Last Updated: 11 November 2021