All GP surgeries in England will have digital phonelines by March 2024, with over 1,000 surgeries having already signed up for upgrades, including 2 in Finchley & Golders Green.
Backed by a £240 million investment, practices will make the switch from analogue systems which can leave patients on hold and struggling to book an appointment – to modern, easy-to-use digital telephones designed to make sure people can receive the care they need, when they need it.
It is expected every practice in the country will have the new system in place by the end of this financial year, helping put an end to the 8am rush – a key pillar of the Prime Minister’s Primary Care Recovery Plan to improve patient access to care.
Patients will be able to contact their general practice more easily and quickly – and find out exactly how their request will be handled on the day they call rather than being told to call back later. If their need is urgent, they will be assessed and given appointments on the same day.
If it is not urgent, appointments should be offered within two weeks, or patients will be referred to NHS 111 or a local pharmacy.
This is an important step in delivering on one of the Prime Minister’s key priorities for 2023: to cut NHS waiting lists so people can get the care they need more quickly.