GPs and practices are under unprecedented pressure. There are about 340 million consultations annually in general practice in England, an increase of 40 million per year from five years ago. This represents the single greatest rise in volume of care within any sector of the NHS. The increase has not been matched by an increase in GP numbers and staff, nor by an expansion in infrastructure, against a background of falling resource.
There is now a large and increasing gulf between the workload demands on practices and their capacity to deliver essential services to their registered patients. GPs are being overwhelmed by rising workload, particularly from a growing ageing population with complex health needs. At the same time, there is an emerging workforce crisis with shortages of GPs leaving many practices unable to recruit doctors, and evidence that some experienced GPs are considering leaving general practice altogether. Government policy continues to move services into the community, placing yet more pressure on overstretched GP services struggling to provide enough appointments, with consequential delays to see a GP. Cuts in resources to individual practices via imposed changes to correction factor and PMS reviews are exacerbating the problem for many. This has followed year on year cuts in practice funding.
In this climate, it is crucial that the safe provision of core services to patients remains GPs’ overriding core priority. This guidance is intended to help practices ensure this.
This section includes Links & documents relating to BMA, GPC, GPCWales & LMC guidance in managing practice & individual workload issues