This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

80% of GPs fear workload pressure will make them miss serious conditions

More than four in every five of GPs fear they might miss a serious condition in a patient because of their intense workload pressure, according to an RCGP study published over the weekend.

The recent poll – conducted by Deloitte - also found that 93% of GPs feel that general practice isn’t being adequately resourced to deliver high quality care, and 96% felt morale had tumbled in the last five years.

More than 250 GPs were polled and 29% said they worried a great deal about missing a patient’s condition because of workload, and 55% said they worried a fair amount.

An earlier RCGP study predicted that, if current trends continue, general practice funding will drop by 17% in the next three years, and a recent King’s Fund report said the NHS was approaching a financial ‘cliff edge’.

The RCGPs honorary treasurer, Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard, who is a GP in Lichfield, said: ‘The fact that more than 80% of GPs worry that they will miss something serious in a patient, due to their high workloads, is a damning indictment of the impact of the deepening funding crisis in general practice.’

‘Family doctors and practice nurses want to provide their patients with excellent patient care - and this takes the right levels of funding. However, only 7% of GPs currently think sufficient investment is going into general practice.’

‘Our poll shows that family doctors are severely demoralised and this can only be bad news for patients.’

Readers' comments (16)

  • Quelle suprise!!!!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • If inflation is factored in the real reduction in funding will be 26% in three years . This will make 10-15 % of practices non-viable and put a further 17 % close to the edge . If you can bail out now .

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • When diagnoses get missed there is only one person to blame! The GP!. Not the system that caused it, not the governments involved with constant changes and underfunding, not the so-called supportive bodies of the BMA or RCGP - The GP! -the person that has been working flat out for years/decades, jumping through repeated hoops to provide the best care that they can for their patients.

    The GP remains accountable, not the others involved in the ultimate failure of the system.

    We are supposed to work like robots/machines but have the empathy of human beings. When there is a systems failure we have to go over it with a fine tooth comb and analyse where WE went wrong, and what WE can do about this to avoid it happening again. This involves much more time than we get with our patients!

    Will the government/BMA/RCGP/patients treat us as human beings and being more realistic about what we can do with the limited resources............No I think not.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • And what will happen to rectify this? Well in my 33 years experince the answer is......zilch!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • C'mon guys,stop whining. Quit the nhs. Or keep doing it. Happy private GP!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Have just given notice of resignation.
    Reason? Because I'm not completely mad!
    Woke up this morning feeling happy for the first time in ages.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 11:17am: congratulations i wish you well.

    10:48am: Sometimes moaning is cathartic for those who have no choice but to keep going (up to a point)- kids at Uni etc. Planned resignation in about 4 years time at age 54. This is all just so sad for our profession.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Hi All
    Please remember when you took the Oath what was it.
    Did it ever mention pressure.
    We are all under pressure that's the way it is.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anonymous nurse you will never, with the greatest respect, have experienced anything like the pressure that a GP does on a daily basis over a lifetime.
    So please don't patronise us and insult our intelligence.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This comment has been moderated.

  • No better example of this than the burdensome and misdirected and administratively demanding unplanned admissions DES. More than ever we are being forced to watch the speed camera rather than the road.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10 results per page20 results per page

Have your say