GP consultations held over the phone are being falsely recorded as ‘face to face’

GP consultations held over the phone are recorded as ‘face to face’: Doctor appointments that take place remotely are being falsely documented as in-person meetings, health chiefs admit

GP phone consultations are being falsely recorded as face-to-face appointments, health chiefs admitted last night. 

In-person appointments made up around 80 per cent of the total before the pandemic but have fallen to 58 per cent in the latest monthly figures. 

Even this number is thought to be inflated because of a systems error. 

‘We do acknowledge that there may be quality issues with the data and instances where the data may not be a true representation of what may be happening in all practices,’ an NHS official told the Daily Telegraph. 

A doctor consults with a patient in April 2020, during the first Covid lockdown (stock image)

‘From March 2020, face-to-face appointment mode data may not be entirely reflective of what happens in the practices, as appointment types have been assigned to appointment modes prior to the pandemic. 

‘Thus, even if the appointment was carried out through a different mode, the appointment registers as a face-to-face consultation.’ 

Dennis Reed, the director of Silver Voices, a campaign group for the over-60s, said: ‘This needs to be investigated. How many of the figures have been fiddled in this way? It is really worrying.’ 

Anne Bedish, 68, is one of the patients whose telephone appointments have been logged as face to face. 

When she contacted Glenlyn Medical Practice, in East Molesey, Surrey, to question the discrepancy, they confirmed that the appointments had been by telephone, but the record went unchanged. 

Boris Johnson and his ministers promised in May to ensure face-to-face appointments were offered to all. 

But the Royal College of General Practitioners warned MPs this would be an empty promise if there was still too little capacity. 

The Daily Mail has been campaigning for in-person GP appointments to be the default option

THE MAIL’S FIVE-POINT MANIFESTO FOR GPs

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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