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I know we have been bombarding you with pleas to take our workload survey (which you can still take here). But, on this, I am not going to apologise.
Last week, I explained why we are doing the survey. Because I believe this survey is vital. And the only way we can achieve our full aims is to have as many GPs as possible filling in the survey – that is how we will be able to use it to full effect. So please fill in the survey as soon as possible if you haven’t already done so.
As we are asking something of you, it is only fair I tell you what we plan to do with this.
First, we are going to spend a time analysing the data. Looking at all the various elements of GP workload – not just direct patient care, but all the time spent doing admin, QOF, etc. We will see how many patient contacts the average is – and whether you think it is safe.
We will hold policymakers to account – asking what they are doing to reduce GP workload.
Second, we will get in touch with commissioners. Ask what they intend to do to address workload. We’ll focus on the CCGs and health boards – and MPs and members of the devolved parliaments – where GPs report particularly strenuous workloads (which may well be all of them…).
Third, once we have analysed the data, we will launch the survey findings. We will issue press releases, make sure that the extent of GP workload is known in the minds of the public and patients.
Finally, and most importantly, we won’t forget about this. We will continue to hold commissioners and policymakers to account – asking what they are doing to reduce GP workload.
This is our promise to you. We haven’t the power to make these changes ourselves. Indeed, it is notable that even the new contract in England – which has been fairly well received – does nothing to address workload in the short term. But we can keep this issue alive. We can only do this if we get the weight of numbers that will make our findings impossible to ignore.