There is a widely held belief that a strengthened version of general practice is essential to the wider sustainability of the NHS and that general practices themselves seem more open to new ways of working than ever before. It’s about ‘Doing more with the same, rather than doing more will less’ but it’s also about ‘Doing things differently’ and that means addressing both skills and processes.

There have been two significant changes to the delivery of care in general practice.

The first is the acceptance that virtual consultations will be the default method by which the majority of all clinical / patient contact will take place. The second is that contact with the practice team will be routed through digital methods rather than by attending or calling in person. New principles and processes are emerging to help embed and support these new working methods as traditional roles are either adapted or replaced.

Correspondence Management represents one of the new processes that was swiftly adopted during COVID. It is especially important as there has been a substantial increase in correspondence being received in practice. To enable a more streamlined GP workload, valuable GP time must be released. This will be achieved by training non-clinical staff to manage all incoming documentation including clinical correspondence and safely redirecting only the most appropriate information to GP’s.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how new technologies have influenced the way GP’s and Clinicians behave in practice.
  • Understand how these changes have affected the traditional roles of administrators / support staff.
  • Understand how Correspondence Management works
  • Help staff gain skills and confidence to deliver Document Management
  • Recap on Medical Terminology
  • Understand the Benefits and Risks associated with Document Management
  • Understand what changes are necessary for successful implementation for:
    • administrators
    • clinical staff
    • patient safety
  • Understand the need for capturing data at the earliest opportunity / templates and Read coding
  • Understand the need for agreed robust protocols and flowcharts
  • Understand the need for robust auditing and ongoing reviews
  • To help practices formulate a plan for implementation
  • To help localities implement Correspondence Management across clusters of practices


Session one – 10:00-12:00

Introduction to Correspondence Management

This session will discuss how Correspondence Management is now a recognised tool to help meet the growing challenges of GP Practice.

  • Discuss how recent technological changes have affected the traditional roles of administrators / support staff.
  • Discuss how recent technological changes have affected the way patients interact with practices – E-consult, Klinic etc.
  • Discuss what effective Correspondence Management will look like
  • Discuss Benefits & Risks
  • Discuss current work patterns/duties/policies and process’s – QoF, ES, Contract targets
  • Are staff confident, feel skilled enough to start,
  • Identify risks, obstacles and barriers to Correspondence Management
  • How familiar are staff following protocols and working on their own?

This session will prepare you to undertake safe Correspondence Management

  • Understand the 4 Principles and the 5 Processes of Document Management
  • Understand the importance of applying Protocols

Understanding Medical Terminology

  • Brief overview of basic Medical Terminology
  • Common words/ phrases / abbreviations used in General Practice

Practical Sessions to explore Correspondence Management methods

  • Using anonymised letters, delegates will process documents
  • Workflow Optimisation Flow charts / protocols / Read Codes / templates
  • Correspondence – what’s ok to be coded and filed
  • And letters that needs to be ‘workflowed’?
  • What actions to take

Session two – 14:00-16:00

Correspondence Management methods

  • Importance of recording actions
  • What happens next
  • Managing queries
  • Support in practice

Managing Risk and Audit

  • The Audit Process
  • The Reporting Process SE/CI
  • The MDU perspective

Next Steps – Planning to implement Correspondence Management in practice & Future opportunities

  • What will need to happen back in your practices for you to implement your new role?
  • What will need to happen back in your practices to support your new role?
  • Create an overview of a Practice Plan
  • How long will it take?

Review of Learning Objectives and Concerns