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The contents on this page can only be viewed by members of the Learning Network. If you're already a member, please take a moment to log in to the network. If not, please register.

This online Learning Network provides members with information and support around Quality Improvement (QI), an evidence-based approach that helps primary care free up time to deliver and evaluate initiatives, and embed new approaches more effectively and efficiently into practice.

QI helps us to make the most of our systems, organisations, talents and expertise to deliver better outcomes for patients.

Members have access to useful resources and case studies as well as opportunities to share learning from their experiences and make useful links with others interested in QI.

Whether you have been undertaking QI work for a while or just want to find out more, this network can support you in your journey and connect you to colleagues across the country who are working in innovative ways.

Membership is open to people working in GP practices and other organisations that support them. Register now to become a member of the Learning Network.

This network has been developed as part of the Royal College of General Practice’s Quality Improvement programme, led by two Clinical Lead’s Dr Mike Holmes and Dr Simon Stockill. If you have any questions about the programme please get in touch with the team at QI.Ready@rcgp.org.uk.

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Online consultations do not necessarily reduce workload for GPs, says College

She said: "GPs and our teams have always made the most of new technology in our ongoing quest to provide the best care possible for our patients.

"General practice was the first sector of the NHS to implement both electronic patient records and electronic prescribing, and we will continue to explore how using new technology in practice can benefit our patients & and that will include through online consultations, which many practices across the country are already implementing in some form.

"When used effectively, technology can be hugely beneficial, but new innovations must be implemented in the best interests of patients as a whole - and in ways that alleviate pressures across the NHS, not potentially add to them. It's a myth to say that because we are making greater use of technology that we must be saving resources.

"This study shows that many of our patients still want to see a GP face-to-face after going online, or to call their local practice to speak to someone about their symptoms. This is not reducing GP workload, or even effectively triaging patients.

"Online consultations, via a smartphone or otherwise, can be great for some patients, but they won't not be suitable for others - and they don't necessarily reduce workload for GPs. If practices do choose to offer them, then it should be using approaches known to be safe and secure and be provided in addition to traditional services, not instead of them."

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