The recently published Kings Fund report tells us that the number of consultations (face to face and telephone) has increased by 15% over the past five years, three times the rate of increase in the number of GPs. There has been a 63% growth in telephone consultations, contributing to stressful and highly pressurised working days for GPs.
We suffer from self martyritis
Avon LMC carried out a survey of its practices in 2015 to measure the flow of unresourced work being passed from secondary care into primary care. 77 practices responded over four weeks and the LMC received 3,267 examples of this unresourced work. On average they each took 10 minutes or more, that’s 545 hours worth of work provided for free.
The General Practice Forward View dedicated ten pages to workload, clearly articulating the need to release capacity within general practice with 27% potentially avoidable GP appointments.
But how many of you have put your foot down and said ‘no this is not my job I will not do it’? We suffer from self martyritis and until we learn to say no our workload is just going to continue exponentially increasing.
One solution GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul mentioned at the LMCs conference is the GPC document Quality First. We have now launched new interactive pages on the BMA website which gives you practical tools and guidance to tackle workload. We have created templates for you to use to send work that is not your responsibility back to where it belongs – these templates are in word, pdf, EMIS web, SystmOne.
We have provided you with lists of enhanced services that you may be providing for free, to help you negotiate funding, we have provided guidance on fees for letters that are not your core contractual responsibility.
GPC has equipped and empowered you with the tools you need. Use the guidance, discuss it at your practice, at your LMC, negotiate with your CCG and get the services you are already providing appropriately funded. This is general practice awakening and pushing back unresourced work.
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