An NHS scheme that has enabled GP practices to free up more time for doctors to see their patients is to be extended following a successful pilot.

NHS England said the Time For Care scheme, tried out at certain sites since 2016, should be in place in three-quarters of GP practices by 2022.

The scheme encourages practices to try innovations to cut bureaucracy.

In 2018, 205,157 clinical hours – equivalent to GPs having 1.2 million more appointment slots – were freed up.

NHS England said that represents close to £40m in time saved, as the average cost of an appointment is £30.

The scheme also saved 330,096 administration hours in the past year.

Dr Nikita Kanani, NHS England’s medical director for primary care and a south-east London GP, said

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