The reduction in bureaucracy resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic made general practice ‘a doable job’ again, after over a decade of rising workload, RCGP chair Professor Martin Marshall has said.
According to RCGP analysis, GPs experienced a 28% reduction in time spent on clinical administrative tasks ‘in mid-May during the height of the Covid crisis’, alongside a 24% reduction in patient footfall.
Speaking about GP workload at this year’s virtual Pulse Live event, Professor Marshall said: ‘So many of my colleagues told me that general practice felt like a doable job, for the first time in 10 or 15 years.’
Arguing for a prolonged reduction to GP bureaucracy, he added: ‘The arguments are compelling that workload is a major impediment to us being able to do a high-quality job and a safe job.’
Professor Marshall told delegates that ‘in order to reduce workload we need’:
· More staff;
· To do things differently;
· To stop doing some tings;
· To reduce patient demand.
In May, Professor Marshall told the House of Commons health and social care committee that GP bureaucracy cannot return to pre-pandemic levels.
He told the Pulse Live event: ‘If you don’t call out workload as our major challenge, it’s very unlikely that our speciality will be able to do what our patients want, what we want, and what the NHS expects of us.’
Last week, the BMA’s GP Committee warned that GPs will not be able to cope with a second wave of Covid-19 unless routine CQC inspections and QOF reporting is paused again, as happened during the first wave of the pandemic.