Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Health

Up to 16million patients could lose their GP in next decade

Sixteen million Britons could be left without a GP within a decade without a

Sixteen million Britons could be left without a GP within a decade without “major investment”, doctors argued today.

The Doctors Association of the UK (DAUK) warned that doctors “would quit the NHS, the profession or the country unless the new Health Secretary stopped the rot”.

Writing in a letter to Therese Coffey, the group added that the postcode lottery seen in dentistry “could soon be replicated in general practice.”

The GP group called for practice funding to be increased based on the number of contacts GPs make, as opposed to the current size of the patient list.

Under their 10-step plan, they also called for paid administrative time to deal with paperwork, as well as a pause in ‘activity towards expanding access’. Family doctors have been told they must start offering weekday evening and weekend consultations starting in October.

DAUK claimed that the current workload is “making us sick” and warned that the NHS is a “sinking ship”.

Sixteen million Britons could be left without a GP within a decade without “major investment”, doctors warned today. DAUK GP leader Dr Lizzie Toberty claimed the exodus of GPs would create a “public health catastrophe”

There were just 27,558 fully qualified and full-time equivalent GPs working in England last month, down 1.6 per cent from the 18,000 on record in June 2021. It was down 5.3 per cent from the more than 29,000 who They worked in June 2017.

There were just 27,558 fully qualified and full-time equivalent GPs working in England last month, down 1.6 per cent from the 18,000 on record in June 2021. It was down 5.3 per cent from the more than 29,000 who They worked in June 2017.

Map shows: The proportion of GP appointments made in person in July at integrated care boards in England

Map shows: The proportion of GP appointments made in person in July at integrated care boards in England

Meanwhile, the figures also showed that less than half of appointments across the country were with a fully qualified GP.

Meanwhile, the figures also showed that less than half of appointments across the country were with a fully qualified GP.

Just over a third of consultations in Lincolnshire were to a doctor. The rest were seen by other staff, including nurses, physical therapists and even acupuncturists. Map shows: The proportion of appointments seen by a fully ICB-qualified GP across England in July

UK Doctors Association 10 solutions to the GP staffing crisis

  1. Continuity of care: Focus on prioritizing patients being treated by the same doctor rather than increasing hours and access to GPs across the board
  2. A review of the way internships are paid: Finances should reflect the number of contacts GPs treat, rather than the current general “per patient, per year” rate
  3. paid administrative time: ‘Doctors in hospitals have this as a rule’
  4. Extension of self-certification of illness to 28 days: To release appointments made simply to certify absence from work
  5. Empowering pharmacists: Making appropriate substitutes ‘would be useful’ to reduce appointments for prescription drugs, for example with HRT
  6. Training and development for additional roles: Improve the training of non-medical and non-nursing staff to improve patient care
  7. Eliminate the revalidation of the last five years of the career of a general practitioner: To encourage those who wish to continue working
  8. Allow practices to use additional funds in the best possible way: Let individual primary care networks decide how they spend the extra money
  9. New specially designed facilities: Current buildings are “small, old and not energy efficient”
  10. Investment in high-quality IT systems: Current software systems are ‘unreliable’
Related:  Knifeman shouting 'Allahu Akbar' stabs two people before being shot dead by police in Germany 

Dr Coffey is expected to outline in detail her ‘ABCD’ plan for the health service later this week, as part of a plan to ensure the service ‘delivers to patients’.

However, it has not yet made clear how it will handle the staffing levels of doctors and dentists.

Medical unions say the workforce issue is central to the GP crisis and is one of the main factors why millions of patients struggle to see their doctor.

The number of full-time GPs working in Britain has plummeted over the past five years, falling to its lowest level on record in June, the most recent date for which data is available.

There were around 27,500 permanent, fully qualified GPs working in the NHS in England that month, up from 28,000 in June 2021 and 1,500 fewer than five years ago.

Nearly half of GPs plan to quit smoking by 2027, according to harsh forecasts from the Royal College of GPs.

Earning an average of £110,000 a year, many doctors also reduce their working hours, retire early or move abroad.

Many say increasing hours, mountains of administrative work and a growing number of patients are putting too much pressure on them. Some have also blamed aggressive media coverage.

The DAUK estimate that one in four patients will be left without a GP in the next decade was based on figures from the Health Foundation think tank.

It projected that 8,800 GPs will leave the NHS by 2030. The DAUK calculation is based on the average GP seeing around 2,000 patients.

Related:  'I always wanted to hear dad speak': Johnny Doyle's daughter, Joanna, reflects on her dad's career

However, analysis by MailOnline earlier this year revealed that the ratio could be as staggeringly high as one doctor for every 14,000 patients in some parts of the country.

The group’s GP leader, Dr Lizzie Toberty, said: “GPs will reduce their hours, leave the NHS or leave the country.”

“We fear that patients will suffer from the same ‘postcode lottery’ for seeing their GP as many now suffer from an NHS dentist.”

He claimed that the exodus of family doctors would create a “public health catastrophe”.

Dr Toberty said: ‘We are rapidly hurtling towards the end of the NHS as we know it, where those who can pay and those who cannot suffer.

‘And as in dentistry, there is evidence of a rapidly expanding private GP sector.

‘For those who can’t pay, my concern is that they will die young from totally preventable diseases. We are about to see health inequalities widen much further.’

In their letter, the group highlighted the suicide of Dr. Gail Milligan, who died in July, as an example of the strain doctors are under.

They wrote: ‘This job is making us sick.’

The group claimed that the increasing number of doctors leaving the field could be stopped if Dr. Coffey followed his ten-point plan.

This includes upgrading practice buildings to ensure they are better isolated and upgrading aging IT systems.

They also called for self-certification of illness to be extended to 28 days to reduce the number of appointments made “simply to certify absence from work.”

You may also like

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Advertisement

You May Also Like

Latest

Paul Collingwood insists England are ‘not going to change’ their aggressive approach after a disappointing first day against South Africa and backs bowlers to...

Latest

The royal beekeeper, in an arcane tradition believed to date back centuries, has informed the hives kept on the grounds of Buckingham Palace and...

Latest

Ministers praised The Mail on Sunday’s Save Our Parks campaign as they provide a much-needed boost of £9 million for 100 new and improved...

Australia

Apple is targeting September 7 for the launch of the iPhone 14, three Apple Watch models and new iPads, but the company may raise...