The GP Stories you almost missed – GP Fatigue, Practice Closures, #WhyGP?
The RCGP has highlighted the pressure of GPs’ workload causing burnout and fatigue and endangering patient safety. Whilst a review of GP workload by Health Education England has recommended pilot schemes to test the effectiveness of a wider range of practice staff including medical assistants and paramedics. NHS England has announced new pilots in eight ‘vanguard’ areas which will see GPs working in A&E and OOH services integrated with ambulance services and NHS 111. The chair of the primary care workforce review has revealed that he was told to ignore GP staffing levels, as the Government claimed it was not required.
A survey of GP Partners has found that 62% of all GPs have taken a pay cut with an average reduction of 5.7%. Whilst the cost of 7 day opening for GP surgeries could cost the NHS £3bn a year, according to calculations by Dr Mortons’, a medical helpline which launched this month.
The GPC has called on NHS England to set up a financial resource for struggling practices in danger of closure. A group of practices in Staffordshire have raised fears of closure after finding that a change in management of their premises has left them with increased bills of up to 900%. A local area team has reviewed its policy of issuing breach notices to any practice that received an ‘inadequate’ rating from the CQC and denying support from the pilot programme run by NHS England and the RCGP.
A quarter of OOH shifts were unfilled in one area in Wales owing to a growing recruitment problem. This year, 85% of training places were filled in Wales after two rounds of recruitment and there will not be a third round.
Brunel Medical Practice in Torquay, Devon, has written to patients asking them to ‘bear with us’ as they struggle to recruit after a number of GPs retired. Meanwhile, St Luke’s Medical Centre in Gloucester has had to close after failing to replace the two partners who have been succession planning since August 2013.
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