Cookie policy notice

By continuing to use this site you agree to our cookies policy below:
Since 26 May 2011, the law now states that cookies on websites can ony be used with your specific consent. Cookies allow us to ensure that you enjoy the best browsing experience.

This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

GP workload pressures are behind decline in patient access satisfaction, admits DH

Pressures on GPs is the reason behind declining patient satisfaction with access to general practice, the head of the Department of Health official has admitted.

In a hearing yesterday with the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), DH permanent secretary Dame Una O’Brien said GPs were struggling with a rising workload, but that the DH was ‘absolutely determined’ to reduce these pressures and ’make it an attractive and valued job’.

The committee questioned DH and NHS England officials about the latest GP survey results, poor GP retention and unfilled training places as part of its inquiry into access to general practice in England..

Asked why patient satisfaction with access to general practice is declining, as shown by consecutive results from the GP Patient Survey, Dame Una said: ’I think there are a number of reasons, one of which is the pressures that GPs are under.’

She said ‘a range of different things’ had caused that situation, including rising patient expectations and changes to the morbidity of the population, particularly the rising numbers of elderly people with multiple complex condition.’

However Dame Una said that the DH was ’absolutely determined to support GPs in reducing the pressures they are under, and we do indeed want to make it an attractive and valued job’.

She described a ‘four-pronged’ approach that the DH is taking as investment; focus on workforce; abatement of the workload; and supporting innovation, with the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund raised as a specific example.

She added: ’There should not be any doubt about the very high value that we place on GPs as individuals, and on general practice.’

The officials also came under pressure over poor GP recruitment and retention, with suggestions of an interview of all new GP trainee recruits on what swayed them to choose general practice.

Conservative MP David Mowat said that the NHS was ’getting rid of half of’ new GPs ‘within ten years’.

NHS chief executive Simon Stevens said that ‘the whole of the NHS’ was accountable for this situation.

But Mr Mowat replied: ’That level of failure to retain people in most private sector organisations would cause a huge level of concern… There is a hemorrhaging of talent here which is of concern to the country and I think should be of concern to you and your colleagues.’

Readers' comments (8)

  • Vinci Ho

    'absolutely determined to support GPs in reducing the pressures they are under, and we do indeed want to make it an attractive and valued job’.
    Something one wants to happen is completed different from something will happen.
    Either one could not even believe the words coming out of one's mouth or this was purely naive optimissism.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Vinci Ho

    correction
    completely not completed

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Pathetic management speak horseshit for a crisis this utter failure called NHSE has caused itself
    Pathetic
    Learning point .. Mass resignations and revolutionary change needed at NHSE to resect the cabal of overpaid totally incompetent failures and their secretive bullying mis-micromanagement and gross ignorance unaacountabilty and abject failure to consult with the profession

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • She is lying. Next!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • No shit Sherlock!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • No shit Sherlock!
    Hey, NHSE and government:
    Peanuts= dissatisfied monkeys being squeezed into QOF tick boxes- call that a f#####g health SERVICE!?!? When YOU are a granny/ granpa and your health insurance premiums are more than the value of your house (if you've still got one) what kind of 'national' health service would you like to/ are you going to fall back on? At present, by current standard actions, you are going to get euthanised, slowly, whilst generating corporate profits 'for the shareholders'.

    Have a light bulb moment: in service the CUSTOMER comes first, not the profit or shareholder.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This comment has been moderated.

  • Can I ask - where on earth do these people come from, who are on these committees?

    Are they elected? Who elected them?
    Or are they chosen to tow the party line - They say that 'Yes, Prime Minister' started as a comedy, but is actually quite a true representation of what happens behind the scenes.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Pressure?! What pressure?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say