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Partners work longest hours and have more patient contacts than other GPs

Partners have more patient contacts than other GPs, are scheduled to provide more clinical care - and end up working more longer hours, Pulse's major GP workload survey has found.

However, salaried GPs are more likely to provide clinical care beyond their scheduled hours, according to the results of the survey of almost 1,700 GPs.

GP leaders said partners were 'caught up in having to keep the whole machine going' and warned general practice would not survive unless partnerships were made more attractive.

The survey showed GP partners dealt with an average of 41 patients on the day of the survey, Monday 11 February - while salaried GPs had 36, locums had 30 and registrars dealt with 26. 

In addition, 23.4% of partners were scheduled to carry out 10 or more hours of clinical work - but 30.9% ended up working these longer hours.

Among salaried GPs, only 11.4% were contracted to work at least 10 hours clinically - but in reality 27.5% completed these hours.

GP burnout expert Dr Clare Gerada, also former RCGP chair, said the workload for GP partners, in particular, is ‘unsustainable’.

She said: ‘If we lose the partnerships, we’ve lost general practice. Partners are essentially caught up in having to keep the whole machine going and nobody’s helping.

‘Unless there’s a way in improving the benefits of being a partner, then what we’ll find is more and more partners will burn out.’

The recent Government-commissioned review of partnerships found GP workload was ‘verging on unmanageable’ and in some regions of the country may be putting patients at risk.

The full findings from the review, published earlier this year, recommended measures including increasing the number of GPs and size of the wider general practice workforce, as well as setting up new primary care networks to share workload.

Pulse's survey findings are based on responses from 1,681 GPs about their day spent in practice on Monday 11 February.

The results showed more than half of GPs say they are working above safe limits, on average completing 11-hour days and dealing with a third more patients than they believe they should be seeing.

 

Readers' comments (3)

  • THE GOVERNMENT ARE TRAPPED...THEY HAVE SPENT YEARS PUMPING OUT PROPAGANDA VIA THE "STATE MEDIA OUTLET" ie THE DAILY NUTTER THAT GP PARTNERS ARE ALL LAZY, GREEDY, UNDER-WORKED AND OVER-PAID.
    IF THEY NOW IMPROVE GP PARTNERS CONDITIONS, THEY WOULD, IN EFFECT, BE ADMITTING TO 10 YEARS OF LIES AND FABRICATION AND THEY ARE "IN TOO DEEP"

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  • locum x

    ‘If we lose the partnerships, we’ve lost general practice' - I thought Dr Gerarda was a big fan of turning the whole profession salaried? I agree with this statement but isn't the Hurley Practice an enormous salaried Dr Machine? Perhaps I'm being unfair? It seems to me the direction of travel is salaried, it's already been decided that wide spread GP employment through partnership is the past. I take Dr Geradas statement as an admission that general practice is already lost - without enormous directional change from the top we are currently engaged in an ongoing process of the dismantling of general practice - it's weird that people in such prominent positions don't recognise this more explicitly - i'm picking up some fairly stark cognitive dissonance here. I have the greatest respect for Dr Gerada with regard to to her work in the welfare of GPs but we are heading towards a Salaried, Noctor, Uber GP manager system - haven't you noticed?

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  • Is Dr Gerardajust playing to the gallery, to much damage has been done to partnerships now.The way we have been treated since 2004 stinks we have long memories, most of us have an escape plan, and if this involves being salaried to a big conglomerate are we going to be good minion and tow the line!Doubt it, now what where's the queue for the fit notes.

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