This site is intended for health professionals only

Minority of GP practices shed staff amid financial pressures

Just 3% of GP practices have resorted to making clinical staff redundant due to financial pressures.

However, a further 8% were thinking of doing so, and administrative staff had fared worse, according to a Pulse survey of 528 GP partners.

In all, 6% of GP partners have made admin staff redundant and a further 13% are thinking about it.

Meanwhile, 14% cut staff hours last year and 19% are looking at the possibility. However this left two thirds (66%) who said they had not looked at this option.

But the data comes amid a shortage of clinical staff available to GP practices, highlighted by NHS England’s £15m plan to attract more practice nurses.

And there was no doubt GP practices were struggling with workload pressures.

Pulse reported that these had pushed over half (55%) of GP practices to cut back on clinical services or consider doing so.

Meanwhile, more than a third of practices are considering closing their list to new patients.

An increase to clinical support staff numbers in GP practices is one of a number of key measures the Government is pushing as part of its £2.4bn GP Forward View rescue package.

So far, NHS England claims to have recruited more than half of 5,000 pharmacists, nurses and other health professoinals that it says will relieve GP workload.

Survey questions in full

Have you looked at making clinical staff redundant over the past 12 months?

Yes, we have already done it – 3%

Yes, we are considering it – 8%

No – 88%

Don’t know – 1%

Have you looked at making administrative staff redundant over the past 12 months?

Yes, we have already done it – 6%

Yes, we are considering it – 13%

No – 79%

Don’t know – 2%

Have you looked at cutting staff hours over the past 12 months?

Yes, we have already done it – 14%

Yes, we are considering it – 18%

No – 66%

Don’t know – 2%

The survey was launched on 10 October 2017, collating responses using the SurveyMonkey tool. The 25 questions asked covered a wide range of GP topics, to avoid selection bias on one issue. The survey was advertised to our readers via our website and email newsletter, with a prize draw for a Ninja Coffee Bar as an incentive to complete the survey. A total of 500 GPs answered this question.