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GPC launches 42-page guide to help GPs manage workload pressures

The GPC has launched a 42-page guide to help GPs avoid doing unnecessary work which is not part of their job description.

Explaining the move, the GPC said the initiative was not about restricting services to patients but ensuring they have access to quality care which is safe. The guide also highlights the importance of GPs to look after their own health in light of workload pressures to avoid burnout.

Introducing the guide, titled Quality first: Managing workload to deliver safe patient care, the GPC said GPs are under ‘unprecedented pressure’ with a 40 million increase in the number of consultations annually compared to five years ago.

‘This represents the single greatest rise in volume of care within any sector of the NHS. The increase has not been matched by an increase in GP numbers and staff, nor by an expansion in infrastructure, against a background of falling resource.’

It added: ‘This guidance is not about restricting GP services. It is about providing safe, quality and accessible care to patients, at time when GPs are being prevented from doing so by excessive and inappropriate or unresourced work, which is taking them away from their prime duty of care as GPs.’

The guide covers reducing clinical workload that is inappropriate for GP practices; reviewing and limiting voluntary additional work, enhanced services or schemes detracting from core work; tips on stopping unfunded or under resourced work; encouraging patients to self care; collaborating with neighbouring practices to share workload; IT improvements that can reduce workload; tips on managing practice list size if there is not enough capacity; and advice to GPs to seek help if their workload ias impacting on their contractual or professional duties or on their own health.

GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: ‘The demand on GP practices has far outstripped capacity. This is having a direct effect on patient services, with longer waits for a GP appointment and many practices struggling to provide adequate essential services for their patients. Increasing numbers of practices are under intense pressure due to GP vacancies that cannot be filled, while others are working in inadequate premises, and with insufficient staffing.’

Readers' comments (8)

  • Took them long enough to come out with it! Let's see what difference it makes.ie prctice louder than words

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  • Thank you BMA... a 42 page guidance document ought to sort out the unmanageable workload!!

    ... let's not bother removing ourselves from an archaic contract that is grossly underfunded and takes no account demand for services of workload.

    BMA membership is such good value for money I simply can't believe my luck.

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  • Actually having read it there are some good templates in the appendix that GPs can use regarding inappropriate and/or unfunded work that is dumped on us. One template is a copy of the letter sent by Devon GPs to their patients which NHSE backed down on.

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  • 42 pages only,,,,,,could have tried harder maybe at least halfway to Encyclopedia Brittanica

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  • Dear GPC: I dont want palliative care, I want a cure.

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  • Let's take this as a positive step.
    Anything that helps our weaker colleagues to say NO has to be a good step.
    If they fail to use this then they have no excuse to whinge about their workload

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  • Typical of our leaders. What they should be doing is truly representing us by confronting the government at a time just before the General Election when it would be possible to wring large concessions from it and exposing the nonsensical way in which the governement is handling the NHS - no government would want a fight with GPs just before a General Election. Instead they come up with a pathetic document which is tantamount to put a sticking plaster over a festering boil.

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  • It is really not GPC's fault, in some ways, the LMC conference decided to stick with average list size. Well then, we have to provide GMS services at an increasing rate year on year. The LMC has to look again and see that there may be different solutions that involves being paid for work done, otherwise GP land is dead, for sure, because it is becoming impossible.

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