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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Case study, Dr Ben Burville: ‘Existing patients are our priority’

We’re open to any new DES, but we can’t sign up to one just because it’s there; we have to look at the impact new work would have on our patients and the services we provide.

We do a lot of dementia case finding anyway, but as for the other DESs, we just don’t have the infrastructure or the time without sacrificing other services. Our priority has to be the patients we’ve got. We’d love to hire more GPs and nurses and expand our services, but we simply don’t have the funding.

I get to work at 7:45am and don’t get home till 7:30pm. I enjoy my work but it can be frustrating when you can see the benefits of investing in primary care, yet if anything funding is being reduced while workload is increasing.

In our practice there have already been more and more directives to reduce secondary care admissions and referral management – both to reduce cost. But they all take time. Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t an endless amount of time in the day.

Dr Ben Burville is a GP in Amble, Northumberland

Click here to read our investigation ‘GPs at breaking point’

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