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Family & Relationships Only half of patients can see the same GP each time: People are finding it extremely difficult to see their 'family doctor' when they book appointments

07:56  10 may  2018
07:56  10 may  2018 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Patients are finding it more difficult to see the same GP each time , experts say. Only half are able to see their 'preferred' family doctor most of the time . University of Leicester researchers analysed surgeries from 2012 and 2017. Over that period, they found 'continuity of care' dropped by more than

People are finding it extremely difficult to see their ‘ family doctor ’ when they book appointments Patients are finding it more difficult to see the same GP each time , experts say Only half are able to see their ‘preferred’ family doctor most of the time Universit Source: Read Full Article.

Young boy having his eyes checked © Provided by Shutterstock Young boy having his eyes checked Patients are finding it much more difficult to see the same GP each time they book an appointment, researchers have found.

Only half of people are able to see their 'preferred' family doctor most of the time – down from two-thirds five years ago.

In the first study of its kind, the University of Leicester researchers analysed 6,243 surgeries from 2012 and 2017. 

Over that five-year period, they found that 'continuity of care' – a measure of patients being able to see their preferred GP – had dropped by more than a quarter.

Lead author Professor Louis Levene said the trend was partly due to the rise of locum GPs in place of full-time doctors. Many GPs are choosing to work part-time – or as locums, doing shifts – to look after children or pursue other medical careers.

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Only half of patients can see the same GP each time : People are finding it extremely difficult to see their ' family doctor ' when they book appointments . In the first study of its kind, the University of Leicester researchers analysed 6,243 surgeries from 2012 and 2017. Over that five-year period, they

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In addition, increasing numbers of surgeries have merged to form 'super practices', with teams of doctors rotating between branch surgeries.

On top of this, longer waiting times mean patients are fortunate to get a prompt appointment – regardless of who they see.

GP surgeries across England are struggling to cope with the ageing population, migration and a recruitment crisis of doctors. In 2014, the Government promised to improve care by providing the over-75s with a named GP. This was extended to all patients two years later.

But the latest study found that patients' ability to see the same GP had actually declined over that time, particularly for the elderly.

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More than half of us don't get to see our preferred GP . In 2014 the Government promised to provide Greater demand for appointments means the patient often has to make a choice between taking the A new study, conducted by the University of Leicester, suggests that the number of people who

Difficulty seeing same doctor , booking online or obtaining evening appointments casts doubt on David Cameron’s A third of patients find it difficult get a GP appointment , see the And almost half (46%) said they could not see a GP at their practice in the evenings or at weekends, underlining

Professor Levene said: 'This study shows that continuity of care has declined markedly and widely in England, despite Government changes to GP contracts requiring a named doctor. Higher levels of continuity are associated with patients more likely to take their prescribed medication and being less likely to need an emergency hospital admission.'

Patients Association chief executive Rachel Power said patients with long-term conditions were having to 'start from the beginning' at each appointment. 'Continuity in relationships with GPs and other professionals is one of the key elements in ensuring that care meets each person's individual needs,' she said. 'All patients value their relationship with their own GP.

  Only half of patients can see the same GP each time: People are finding it extremely difficult to see their 'family doctor' when they book appointments © Provided by Shutterstock 'General practice is facing the perfect storm of workforce pressures and rising patient demand due to demographic change, so it is unsurprising that continuity in GP-patient relationships is suffering.'

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People come to see you terrified: that their headache is a brain tumour; that they are going to lose a loved one; that you are going to judge them . No two 10-minute slots are the same . You never know what will be coming up in the next appointment . Is it a quick case of tonsillitis in someone who’s not

But critics warn this may risk patient safety as people are forced to see whichever doctor is And people who know and trust their GP may be more likely to finish a course of treatment. In those practices with between one and three full- time GPs, 50 per cent of patients enjoyed high continuity of

Dr Richard Vautrey, chairman of the British Medical Association's GP committee, said: 'We cannot underestimate the importance and value of the long-term relationship with patients that a GP practice can provide, which benefits not only individual patients but also the wider healthcare system. Though GPs and staff at surgeries continue to work hard to provide a high level of service, these figures are an indication of the growing impact of unsustainable pressures on general practice.

'Through no fault of GPs, the needs and expectations of patients are increasingly being unmet, largely due to the failure to address increasing staff shortages and insufficient funding.'

The study, published in the British Journal of General Practice, looked at satisfaction surveys from patients at 6,243 surgeries out of 7,600 in England.

A total of 47 per cent of patients in 2017 said they had a preferred GP, down from 52 per cent in 2012. But only 55.5 per cent were able to see this preferred GP most of the time, compared to 65 per cent five years previously. The researchers calculated that continuity of care had fallen by 27.5 per cent between 2012 and 2017.

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Consequently, people will avoid seeing the doctor or reaching out for services like legal guidance when they ’re badly needed. As you can imagine, having so many people rely on one car makes it incredibly difficult to fit in additional commitments like ESL classes and medical appointments .

Patients in some areas can now get appointments with a GP or other healthcare professional in the evening and at the weekend, either at their own GP surgery or in a local general You have the legal right to ask to see a particular doctor or nurse at the GP practice. For more information, see : Can I

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Separate research last year found that elderly patients who saw the same family doctor were 12.5 per cent less likely to be urgently admitted to hospital. The academics said this was partly because patients trusted their GPs and were more likely to follow their advice and take their medication.

But many patients are struggling to get an appointment with any doctor because surgeries are under so much pressure.

Research commissioned by the Daily Mail last month found that half of patients cannot get an appointment within a week.

This is partly because surgeries are closing or merging, with the remaining practices having larger list sizes.

The Department of Health and Social Care said: 'We want to ensure that everyone has access to GP services, including routine appointments at evenings and weekends – the latest statistics show more than half the population is currently benefiting from more flexible appointments.

'To improve access to patients and availability of appointments, we're investing an extra £2.4 billion a year into general practice by 2021 and will recruit an additional 5,000 doctors.' 

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