A SCHEME to help ease pressure on GPs has freed thousands of hours for doctors to provide more care for patients.

Productive General Practice Quick Start is a national programme offered by NHS England and applied for by Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group.

It offers GP practices hands-on support to help relieve pressure in practices and release time for doctors to care for patients who need it most.

Seventeen Brighton and Hove practices have completed the course since May and have reported significant time savings for clinical and administrative staff, improved staff morale and availability of appointments. One saved the equivalent of seven weeks’ consultation time a year through a change in the repeat prescription process

Another practice released seven weeks of administration/reception time per year

Some 520 hours a year were saved across the different areas of another GP practice through a change in administrative processes

Dr David Supple, right, Brighton GP and chairman of NHS Brighton and Hove CCG, said: “This programme has been a great success and resulted in quality improvement and significant time savings for clinical and administrative staff, freeing up GPs for more appointments and care for patients.”