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NHS England schemes to alleviate winter crisis hampered by a lack of GPs

A lack of workforce is a ‘huge problem’ standing in the way of new schemes using GPs to alleviate pressure on other services, NHS England’s chief operating officer has warned.

Dame Barbara Hakin said schemes such as placing GPs in A&E departments to alleviate high demand was taking the available GP workforce away from other work such as staffing out-of-hours shifts or give clinical advice in NHS 111 call centres.

Speaking at an NHS England board meeting today, she said: ‘One thing I haven’t emphasized enough here is recruitment, and the workforce, and just what a huge problem that is… Often, you put one initiative in place somewhere and you just pull people from somewhere else. We’ve recently done an initiative to try and support every A&E to have GPs in every A&E department, but we’re also trying to support 111 providers to have GPs there, and out-of-hours providers.

‘If you’re not careful with either those, or the paramedics or the call handlers in 111, a new initiative just pulls on the limited workforce. So the work we’re doing with [Health Education England] to improve recruitment across the professions is critical.’

It comes as ‘unprecedented’ demand on NHS services this winter has led to hospitals pleading for the help of local GPs. However GPs reported that they were also overstretched, with reports of up to 90 patients contacts in a day.

Readers' comments (19)

  • Gosh fancy that..............

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  • Who have thought......?

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  • Funny how workforce problems are downplayed by NHSE each year at about this time when the DDRB makes it recommendation and the problems faced by practices are ignored.

    But when it starts to hit an NHSE or government backed scheme like 111 or A+E departments it is suddenly more important.

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  • I meant
    Who'd have thought....?

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  • "standing in the way of new schemes using GPs to alleviate pressure on other services,"

    I thought GPs were meant to be doing GP work, like being at their very busy surgeries where patients are already complaining loudly that they can't get appointments. Why can't the GPC have the b***s to tell NHSE that GPs are GPs, not a backfill for every crackpot NHSE scheme in other areas.

    I also note that Ms Hakin does not raise any concern that there is a serious lack of GPs to do normal day job GP work. She is only concerned about the workforce for her political schemes.

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  • And who is to blame for the lack of GPs,could not they see this coming a decade off.F***wits.

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  • Can I get knighthood for stating the bleedin obvious?

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  • a clarion call .... Morons to the fore.... has been answered here. Ms Hakin working out how to Rake-in and actually gets paid our NHS money for these delinquent musings ?

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  • .....laugh?...I almost shat

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  • Suggest to Simon she speaks to the Daily Mail and tell them what a spiffing good job being done at the DoH - a Five Year Plan with no GPs!

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