GP surgeries meltdown

GP surgeries meltdown

Following recent furore in the press regarding the de-registration of patients to make way for new patients the lack of General Practitioners is a serious cause for concern.

The chair of the British Medical Association’s GP committee has expressed his fear that rushed patient care is putting their health at risk.  The family doctor system is ‘imploding’ under the weight of more patients who are increasingly frail.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul said, “GPs are doing 40 million more appointments than five years ago and that demand has outstripped capacity denying patients the care and access they deserve”.

There is a serious shortage of young doctors choosing to go into general practice and opting instead to work in hospitals.  Almost 40% of GP training places remain unfilled which will in turn exacerbate the future problems.

Dr Richard Vautrey, deputy chair of the GPC, said: “These figures are deeply concerning and represent a serious threat to the delivery of effective GP services to patients. They show that we are experiencing serious shortfalls in the number of doctors choosing to train to become GPs, which will ultimately mean fewer GPs entering the workforce across large parts of the UK, most worryingly in already under doctored areas such as the North and the Midlands.”

This scarcity of future GPs adds to the concerns that many GP surgeries are substandard and not fit for purpose.” Dr Nagpaul has commented previously that patients are suffering on a daily basis because their doctors are working in premises that are not able to meet their needs.

He confirmed that the GPC would be launching a survey of practices across the UK and the results to be presented to the Health Minister, Earl Howe in July along with proposals for what the government needs to do to address the problems.

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Tina Foster
Health Editor