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Independents' Day

Why we need to carry out a workload survey

Editor’s blog

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jaimie kaffash 2 duo 280x131px

Everyone has had a chance to digest the new contract now. My view was that it looked great at first glance, but there are some concerning aspects.

The most concerning is that it adds to practices’ immediate workload.

There are plenty of things practices need to do: join a network and make sure it is ratified; find a way of hiring all these staff that are going to ease their workload burdens; and actually understand the whole 100-odd page beast.

There is nothing that will immediately lift any burden. No work taken away, no getting rid of QOF, no taking away DESs and putting the funding in the global sum.

This is not to dismiss the whole contract. But it is to point out that the one thing that is affecting every GP in the UK – excessive workload – is nowhere near being remedied in any country, or through any initiative so far.

It is for this reason that we feel we need to give a true picture of how much work GPs are doing in a single day.

We need you to save the date – Monday 11 February.

Make a record of all the patients you are seeing, the other work you are doing, the number of consultations. We are aware of the irony of adding to your workload on the day (although we hope it should take less than five minutes).

But these results will enable us to have concrete evidence to support the idea that we need drastic measures to keep general practice alive.

We hope to hear from you all next week.

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Readers' comments (4)

  • Pulse seems more representative of us the the people who should be, you know who you are BMA.Shame on you BMA,this contract stinks.

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  • Jamie, you mentioned the extra workload burden on 'joining a network', and of 'finding a way to hire all the extra staff needed', but seem to have omitted that NHS wants GPs to be responsible for the employemnt of those extra staff, including their salaries, with a miniscule increase in global sum to cover it.
    This is really just an exercise in getting GPs to mop up the glut of unemployed Pharmacy graduates, and take responsibility for their practice, whilst earning even less themselves. Irresponsible and unworkable come to mind.

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  • I'm happy to do this. I can at least bung it into my clarity thing as an audit. Articulating GP workload pressure is challenging. Unless you are a GP currently in amongst it you don't really get it.

    No harm in doing the survey--but I doubt anyone will care. GPs are rich with fantastic pensions and relaxed workload. They do 1 or 2 surgeries a day and enjoy golf on their half days and days off. They rarely do Home Visits and certainly don't work in the evenings or at weekends.

    That is why when a Partner retires there are always at least 100 applicants for the post.

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  • Vinci Ho

    When I wrote my latest soundbite ,’ the government needs us(GP) more than we need it.’ I did not mean medically but instead , politically , economically and socially . When Lord Vader and Ozzie took the helm of the government after the financial crisis in 2015 , one collective ego was to teach lazy , fat-arsed , allegedly overpaid GPs a tough ‘lesson’ and turn us into obsequious beings. (I think even die-hard Tory fans cannot absolutely disagree on this). The obsession was so fervent that they refused to recognise that the NHS GP model is in fact , the most cost-effective one in the world . Prove me wrong with statistical studies , by all means
    Unfortunately for these two historic sinners , history has its say . The currently hostile environment in NHS and hence , general practice, is not built on one day . As I always like to quote the Chinese saying , ‘ Ice deep frozen three feet down is not a result of one day cold.’ Of course , these two outstanding gentlemen received their own penalties from History under different circumstances.
    Fast forward to now , this government and the ruling party is facing a serious historical predicament called Brexit judgement day(s). And my take is whatever will happen , at least the ruling party( opposition party to large extent as well) will be so seriously wounded that it might not be able to stand up again. It is exactly the paranoia of this that drives Auntie May to do what she has been doing so far.
    The statement that politicians do not know what GPs actually do , is almost universally true with a p-value of less than 0.00001. But I think this is not so relevant at this moment of time because the government is facing the widely publicised news that (a)the country is so short of GPs and (b) the government had admitted failure to deliver its pledge to increase so many GPs in general election (Labour cannot mock on this as they pledged even more!).
    Yes , I agree that this so called five year plan / new GP contract , is superficially colourful but raising serious questions about actually solving our crisis in workload and hence , recruitment and retention.
    If the government dares to continue the mentality of Lord Vader and Ozzie , I have no doubt that some of the critics would turn out to be true :NHS GPs would disappear on the horizon and be replaced by all these ‘noctors’ . Come what May , Auntie May . I dare you .
    For me , the battle goes on and I plead you guys to support Jaimie’s baby of a GP workload survey .
    When there is a will , there is a war (I am afraid).

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