Unhappy that you can’t get an appointment at your GP surgery as quickly as you’d like? If so, you’re not alone – because GPs aren’t happy about it either.
Why then do we find ourselves in this sorry position? Part of the reason is because, as has being recently reported in the press 1200 GP Practices have closed since 2015 leaving England with fewer GP surgeries than ever before. Furthermore, rather than the promised increase in the number of family doctors, the last seven years have seen the loss of the equivalent of 2078 fully qualified full time GPs.
And so, with a 7% decrease in the number of GPs coinciding with a 7% increase in the country’s population, the number of patients per surgery is consequently at an all time high. Add to this the increasingly complex needs of an aging population, the long waiting times for those needing hospital treatment, and the all too frequent lack of both sufficient community care and even basic medicines, and it isn’t hard to understand why the pressure on primary care services is higher now than it has ever been before.
It comes as no surprise therefore that the Health Foundation’s report on General Practice described the current pressures as ‘unsustainable’, resulting as they do in GPs and, no doubt, their clinical and non clinical colleagues, experiencing higher workloads, increased levels of emotional distress, and significantly lower levels of job satisfaction. Whilst I am fortunate to work in a wonderfully supportive practice, one that is able to mitigate much of the stress that the job entails, it nonetheless remains the case that we too have not been unaffected by the current crises, unable as we have been to recruit an additional doctor to cope with the extra 1500 patients we were forced to take on a year or so ago after a neighbouring practice in the town collapsed.
Elsewhere however, in practices staffed by those less fortunate than I, where the struggles are so much greater than those with which we have had to contend, the situation is even worse. And for some it has already become impossible with the future looking only bleaker still.
Yet more worrying though is the effect that all of this is having on those with genuine medical need. Because the Health Foundation also reported that half of all GPs believe that patient care is suffering. This is something that should concern everyone irrespective of their current health – and all the more so given how it seems likely that the situation will only continue to get steadily worse.
So how long will your local health centre survive? Who can say, but is it any wonder that, with the future of General Practice in doubt, too few are considering entering the profession and many who are already in it are now looking elsewhere for possible future employment.
As you’ll see below, I myself have been busy honing my skills as a DJ in the event of my needing to find an alternative form of gainful employment. In the meantime though, I’m just hoping that there’s still a GP out there somewhere who can refer me to a plastic surgeon with a special interest in the treatment of those with absolutely no sense of rhythm and an equally meagre level of common sense.
Now has anyone got any Flamazine they could let me have?
THE NHS CONNECTION
Kermit the frog wasn’t available this evening so I donned my most appropriate coloured jumper and stepped in at the last minute to take his place. Turns out it isn’t easy being green.
The lyrics can be found along with links to other ill advised attempts at singing by clicking below. You have been warned!
To read ‘With time running out’, click here
To read ‘Wither tomorrow?’, click here
To read ‘The NHS Emporium’, click here
To read ‘On Approaching One’s Sell By Date’, click here
To read ‘General Practice – is time running out?’, click here
To read ‘Friday, Bloody Friday’, click here
To read ‘On being overwhelmed’, click here
To read ‘On Not Remotely Caring’, click here
To read ‘Contactless’, click here
To read ‘An Audience for Grief’, click here
To read ‘Vaccinating to remain susceptible’, click here
To read ‘Eleanor Rigby is not at all fine’, click here
To read ‘The Abolition of General Practice’, click here
To read ‘General Practice – still a sweet sorrow’, click here
To read ‘The Life I Lead’, click here
To read ‘When “Good enough” isn’t good enough’ click here
To read ‘Something to reflect on – are we too narcissistic?’, click here
To read ‘Too busy to be happy?’, click here
To read ‘The NHS – the ‘S’ is for service, not slave’, click here
To read ‘On keeping what we dare not lose’, click here
To read ‘Bagpuss and the NHS’, click here
To read ‘Health – it’ll be the death of us. Is there institutional arrogance in the NHS?’, click here
To read ‘On being crazy busy – a ticklish problem’, click here
To read ‘From A Distance’, click here
To read ‘I’ll miss this when we’re gone’, click here
To read ‘Don’t forget to be ordinary, if you want to be happy’, click here
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