When we did our workload survey two years ago, things were at breaking point. Little did we know that there would be a pandemic that would intensify pressures like never before.
Our survey in 2019 was answered by 1,700 GPs. It showed more than half of GPs felt they were working at unsafe levels, on average completing 11-hour days and dealing with a third more patients than they believed they should be.
It had some impact – it was featured in a Panorama documentary, and was even raised at Prime Minister’s Questions in Parliament. But we know that more awareness needs to be raised. Especially considering how much of the media has led people to believe that GPs are not seeing patients face to face.
Pulse is relaunching its workload survey from two years ago and is urging GPs to take part and reveal the pressures the profession is dealing with while tackling the Covid-19 pandemic.
We want GPs to log information about their working day on 1 March, including the number of hours worked, the number of patient contacts they had, clinical complexity of appointments and how workload compares with before the pandemic.
Pulse is capturing these details to highlight conditions GPs are currently working under – and because this data is not available elsewhere.
Two years on from our survey, GP leaders are warning that as the profession has had to move to more remote consultations levels of work have remained high, while GPs have also taken on the Covid vaccination programme.
This year’s survey will be launched a week from today, on Monday 1 March, and will be accessible from the Pulse website so GPs are encouraged to check back then.