Two years ago, we ran a huge snapshot survey on GP workload. Around 1,700 of you contributed to the survey, telling us how many patient contacts you’d had that day and, crucially, whether you felt you were working safely.
More than 50% of you told us you were working beyond safe levels. These were shocking figures, if not surprising. This survey helped put GP workload on the national agenda. The results formed the backbone of a day of stories about general practice on the BBC, culminating in an episode of Panorama devoted to the crisis in the profession. The survey was brought up by the Leader of the Opposition in Prime Minister’s Questions.
I am not going to insult you by telling you this brought about meaningful change. Yes, there has been a review of bureaucracy. But you know how hard general practice remains, and how all encompassing the workload pressures are.
But all we can do at Pulse is not let this be forgotten and counter those damaging claims about general practice being closed. At the very worst time – in the middle of the worst pandemic in more than a century – this narrative has thrived.
So we are rerunning this survey on Monday 1 March. We want to make it clear that general practice is most definitely open. And, I suspect (without wishing to pre-empt the results), not only is it open, but it is full.
I am fully aware of the irony of asking you to fill in another survey and thus add to your workload pressures. But I can only say that we have kept it short and sweet and, by filling this in, you are helping to keep workload in the spotlight.
Jaimie Kaffash is editor of Pulse. Follow him on Twitter @jkaffash or email him at email@example.com.