GPs in East Lancs have more time for patient care after admin staff have been trained to review correspondence, health bosses have said.

While a significant amount of correspondence is now communicated digitally, it still requires GPs to review and act on it.

Much of this work is administrative and GP practices have been working to reduce the amount of time GPs spend on it, and in doing so, free up more GP time for patient care.

Typically, clinical correspondence is scanned and forwarded to GPs who review the correspondence and agree what action they will take.

Much of the correspondence can be reviewed by GP practice administrative staff, who can reduce the time their GPs spend on the information.

Dr Richard Robinson, chairman of East Lancs CCG said: “Patients want to know that their GPs are focused and spending time on patient care and not on administrative matters that can be easily delegated to their practice staff.

“This initiative has equipped our GP practices with methods and techniques to review working practices and improve them so that we can break through the burden of bureaucracy whether that is digital or paper and devote more time to improving the lives of patients through patient care.

“Some estimates suggest that 80-90 per cent of clinical correspondence can be processed safely without the involvement of a GP, and this can free up approximately 40 minutes per day per GP.

"This time saving is equivalent to four GP appointments.”