The Department of Health came out with a comment saying this is why the government is pushing for seven-day NHS services – again missing the point.
What’s needed is more doctors and nurses in a properly-run health service – not a system that forces ever-fewer GPs onto an endless work treadmill that endangers the very patients they’re trying to help.
This is why junior doctors were on strike today and will be on strike tomorrow.
And will probably have to strike again – because Jeremy Hunt still hasn’t got the message.
General practice in England could be reaching ‘saturation point’, with patients seeing GPs more often and for longer while GP numbers fail to increase, according to a new study published in the Lancet.
The study is the largest analysis of GP and nurse consultations to date, and shows that general practice workload has increased by 16% from 2007 to 2014 while patients are seeing their GP 14% more than they did seven years ago.
While the overall workload has increased, the number of GPs per patient has decreased from 60.9 GPs per 100,000 patients to 60.6, it found.
The authors said that the number of consultations have increased ‘substantially’ at the same time as recruitment remains ‘low’.
As a result, the system has reached ‘saturation point’, the authors conclude.
The authors of the landmark study said that GPs had been highlighting the increasing workload for years and, ‘for the first time, we are able to provide objective data that this is indeed the case’.
The study covered over 100 million GP and nurse consultations at 398 general practices in England.
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