I am a lowly humanities graduate, so can someone with a mathematical bent help me? GP workload was too big pre pandemic. Towards the autumn, more workload was added to their pre-pandemic levels as a result of catching up from the first lockdown. Then more workload was added through the extended flu campaign, the biggest vaccination programme ever carried out in the UK. Now more workload has been added by the Covid vaccination programme, which makes the flu campaign look tiny in comparison.
What has been subtracted from their workload has been… er, maybe CQC inspections, maybe a bit of QOF.
This doesn’t add up. The only concession that’s been given for the Covid vaccine programme is £150m given to CCGs to support practices in offering more sessions to salaried GPs, or getting staff to return to the NHS. Yet even this money comes with strings attached, with GPs told they must return activity to ‘at least prior levels’ and make ‘significant progress on learning disability health checks’.
The GPs I speak to all understand the importance of this vaccine. They didn’t get into medicine for the money, whatever some elements of the reactionary press say. It’s not even about making profit.
The fact is, there are physically not even enough hours in the day for GPs to carry out the work expected. Even if – as could be the case – you make them work on Christmas Day.
Jaimie Kaffash is editor of Pulse. Follow him on Twitter @jkaffash or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.