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Your spotlight on local services

All GPs must go back to offering face-to-face appointments, health bosses say


NHS England said all surgeries must offer in-person reception services and appointments following concerns over remote access during the pandemic.


All GP practices must offer face-to-face appointments and an in-person reception desk, NHS England has said, bringing an end to the mandatory “total triage” system introduced during the pandemic.

In a letter sent out on Thursday, GPs were told the use of telephone and online consultations can remain where patients benefit from them, but physical appointments must also be available from May 17.

All practice reception desks must now be open to patients, in a Covid-safe manner, so those who do not have easy access to phones or the internet are not disadvantaged when accessing care.


Total triage was a system whereby patients were remotely screened and directed to the most appropriate health service for their problems, and was introduced as a Covid-19 precaution.


GP appointments were also conducted by telephone, video or online unless it was clinically necessary for a consultation to take place in person.

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