So many ask why can’t I get an appointment with my GP?
GP practices across the country are experiencing significant and growing strain with declining GP numbers, rising demand, struggles to recruit and retain staff and knock-on effects for patients.
They have been at the forefront of the NHS’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, delivering vaccines whilst maintaining non-COVID care for patients throughout.
Key findings from a report by The Kings Fund;
- GP workload has grown hugely, both in volume and complexity. The research sample shows a 15 per cent overall increase in contacts: a 13 per cent increase in face-to-face contacts and a 63 per cent increase in telephone contacts.
- Population changes account for some of this increase, but changes in medical technology and new ways of treating patients also play a role.
- Wider system factors have compounded the situation. For example, changes in other services such as community nursing, mental health and care homes are putting additional pressure on general practice. Communication issues with secondary care colleagues have exacerbated GP workload.
- Increase in workload has not been matched by a transfer in the proportion of funding or staff.
- The number of GPs has grown more quickly than the population but has not kept pace with groups most likely to use primary care (over 65s and over 85s).
- GPs are increasingly opting for ‘portfolio careers’ or part-time work. Only 11 per cent of GP trainees surveyed intend to do full-time clinical work five years after qualification.
We are doing our best, please be patient and please be kind to our staff.