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 timesheets: do they work?

Dr Pamela Bowyer roadtests advice from the May edition of Bob Senior’s Finance Diary column. Find out whether she’d recommend it, and download a copy of her time log analysis to find out how it’s done

I followed Bob Senior’s advice and completed a time audit over five sessions (two and a half days).

It’s a good exercise but it takes discipline. The first day I forgot until mid-afternoon, so started the next day instead.

I recorded exactly what I was doing then created the categories later.

I was surprised at how much time I did spend on patient contact (face to face appointments and telephone consultations, 50%), and then 20.27% on patient-related administration.  

I’m a salaried GP rather than a partner, and I suspect most partners would get a different pattern appearing.  Also my practice has quite a structured day, with timetabled group tea-breaks, and dedicated time for some admin tasks and telephone consultations.  

Even when trying to be compliant with a time audit there are things that are difficult to record accurately – quick or soft things like a short chat with a colleague to give advice, or quickly signing a prescription.     

At this level of 87.84% of time spent on patient care and patient administration tasks I don’t seem to have a lot of room to make more time.

I plan to repeat the exercise again and see if anything different emerges.

Dr Pamela Bowyer is a GP in Coalville, Leicestershire.

Have you analysed the way you spend your working day? Did it change the way you feel about what you do?


Have your say