Accurx, the communications platform powering 98% of GP practices, announces today a commitment to help 1,000 GP surgeries tackle the 8am rush by implementing a Modern General Practice Access (MGPA) model by April 2024.

The move is part of a 5-point plan to support primary care to more easily manage demand and improve access, detailed in a new report published today by Accurx – ‘A Blueprint for Recovering Access’.

The MGPA model was introduced as one of four priorities in NHS England’s delivery plan for recovering access to primary care. It aims to make the way patients contact their surgery easier and more equitable, whilst ensuring primary care staff are able to provide rapid assessment and response that prioritises patients by clinical need.

The 5-point plan aims to support 1,000 GP practices to unlock the power of the MGPA model in their surgery. Accurx is launching the plan alongside new market research detailed in the report, which reveals the outsized impact that the MGPA model is having on GP practices’ ability to manage demand and enhance patient access:

  • 81% of primary care staff who already run a MGPA model say that since its implementation, their practice is better equipped to keep up with inbound patient demand*

  • Three quarters (75%) say that they are able to provide a more equitable service, where patient requests are prioritised based on clinical need

  • 65% say that since implementing it, patients are more satisfied with their service

  • Half (50%) say that they are happier in their day-to-day role, and 58% say their workload is more manageable

Accurx has based its 5-point plan on the responses from ICS leaders and GP practices, who were asked how Accurx could best support them. For example, 87% of ICS leaders said that Accurx could best support the GP practices in their ICS to use digital tools to tackle the 8am phone rush through comprehensive training support, and 87% said a resource centre including support articles and case studies.

The plan includes the following measures:

  1. A hands-on, comprehensive 12-week onboarding programme for practices who have procured Patient Triage, including 1-1 training calls, webinars, training resources and change management guidance to support the change to a Modern General Practice Access model.

  2. A free trial of Patient Triage for practices, so that they can try out the company’s triage solution before committing funds.

  3. A training pack for GP practices, to give them a comprehensive set of insights and tips to help them optimise their workflows for Modern General Practice Access.

  4. Ready-to-use materials to help practices guide patients through the change in system, such as posters, demos, informative videos and staff telephone scripts.

  5. A user community forum for total triage, where GP practices can share learnings and access supportive content and advice from over 600 other healthcare professionals.

Jacob Haddad, CEO and co-founder of Accurx, said: “General practice is at breaking point and in need of a critical reset moment. The only way healthcare delivery will be sustainable is to move away from an appointment first approach to a needs-based model of care instead, where 25%-50% of requests are resolved through messaging.

“This is now a proven approach in a small number of practices, but needs scaling up. With this approach, clinicians will have more capacity to see patients who truly need face-to-face appointments.

Professor Sir Sam Everington, GP in Tower Hamlets and vice president of the British Medical Association, added: “Modern telephone systems are of course important, but good access is about getting the patient to the right place, first time, through a proper online triage system.

“This involves encouraging patients to fill in an online form, so that GP teams are properly briefed on their issue and can direct them and deliver them to the most appropriate form of care. This can often be via messaging, e.g. via text or email.”

Earlier this month, Accurx said it had integrated its batch messaging and batch florey features to the NHS App, empowering patients to manage their own health.