You will have heard a lot recently on television and in the press about the ‘crisis’ in General Practice. How has this situation come about?
- Across the country almost 11% of patients are unable to get an appointment within two weeks.
- The good news is that at Parkside our next available routine face to face GP appointment is in 3 days’ time and the next available telephone appointment is in 2 days’ time. This compares very favourably with other local practices. We are doing what we can to improve things, but we would like you to appreciate the reasons behind this situation.
- The bad news is that doctor workload has increased by 20% over the past seven years and is still rising. The average person sees the doctor six times a year –twice as often as a decade ago. Yet in spite of this rising workload, the budget for general practice is decreasing.
- Our surgery only gets £75.77 funding for each patient’s care for the whole year, and once a patient has visited us twice during a year, that funding has been exhausted.
- Doctors are often carrying out over fifty patient consultations a day (plus paperwork and home visits to frail elderly and terminally ill patients – at Parkside these amounted to more than 1100 last year).
- A recent survey found that 6 out of 10 GPs are considering early retirement. Many doctors are leaving the NHS; medical students and doctors in training don’t want to become GPs. At Parkside we have lost two doctors in the past year in just this way.
- In spite of all this, we believe that the NHS remains one of the best health care systems in the world. At Parkside our GPs had over 35,000 consultations last year, and the total number of consultations provided by all our staff exceeded 55,000.
- We are doing what we can to overcome the crisis, but we need our patients’ support, your support, at this very difficult time.
Read the full article to find out more…