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Another week, another two stories about the effects of little workload dumps on general practice that, put together, is making the job untenable.
In one instance, NICE’s new draft hypertension guidelines will reduce the thresholds for considering antihypertensives in stage 1 hypertension. The BMA has said that this will dump more work on primary and secondary care, without much benefit.
In the other story, GPs are having to refer patients on behalf of private providers as they don’t have access to the eReferral system – which is now mandatory for making a referral to an NHS trust.
Of course, this is on top of all the work hospitals are dumping on GPs – something that had apparently been addressed by NHS England and the BMA, but hasn’t filtered through to practices.
Both these are great examples of official bodies coming up with what they believe are great ideas but failing to see the repercussions on GP workload. We are now surely getting to the point where the impact on GP workload (and that of secondary care) should be the first factor when introducing new initiatives. We are unable to start thinking of reducing workload until we ensure no more is being dumped on GPs.
Sadly, I could write this piece every week using similar examples. But, having spent the week analysing the results of our GP workload survey, it is at the top of my mind. They are truly shocking. And we will be revealing all next month.
Jaimie Kaffash is editor of Pulse. Follow him on Twitter @jkaffash or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org