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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.’