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Health & Fitness Staggering extent of GP surgery waiting times, remote appointments and lack of GPs - data

00:55  17 october  2021
00:55  17 october  2021 Source:   express.co.uk

GP chief says emergency rescue package needed for ‘crisis-torn general practice’

  GP chief says emergency rescue package needed for ‘crisis-torn general practice’ Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said that the job of GPs was 'largely undoable' even before Covid-19, but that general practice is now 'at breaking point'Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said that the job of GPs was “largely undoable” even before Covid-19, but that general practice is now “at breaking point”.

The coronavirus pandemic has left GP offices and A&E wards on their knees since September, with several hundred Covid patients still admitted daily. The Government has tried to correct the issue by plumping healthcare offices with a cash boost, but doctors and other professionals have said it doesn't go far enough. Data has revealed the breadth of the crisis the NHS currently faces as a potentially devastating winter Covid wave looms.

NHS England released its monthly data for hospital performances yesterday, exposing shortfalls across the health sector.

Sajid Javid warns GPs over face-to-face appointments

  Sajid Javid warns GPs over face-to-face appointments The Health Secretary said 'everyone can understand' why GPs 'couldn't provide access in the normal way' during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic but he said 'we are way past that now'.The Health Secretary said 'everyone can understand' why GPs 'couldn't provide access in the normal way' during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Lengthening A&E wait times have left people stuck in the emergency room for more than four hours, exceeding the target introduced in 2004.

GP surgery chaos waiting times remote appointments GP numbers © GETTY GP surgery chaos waiting times remote appointments GP numbers

The NHS data shows doctors admitted 386,000 people to A&E in 2021, more than 25 percent endured waits longer than four hours, and just under two percent (5,000) waited 12.

The situation doesn't improve across the UK's home nations, with nearly half waiting more than the target time.

Approximately four in 10 people who required A&E treatment living in Northern Ireland had waits longer than four hours.

Inside GP chaos: GP appointment © GETTY Inside GP chaos: GP appointment

The same data shows the pandemic has left GP surgeries struggling to recover from practice-altering measures.

NHS carried out 1MILLION fewer emergency procedures last year

  NHS carried out 1MILLION fewer emergency procedures last year There were 5.45million emergency procedures carried out across all NHS England services in the 12 months to March, down 16 per cent on the 6.5m the previous year. The NHS Digital statistics, published today, include admissions for accident and emergency, mental health, maternity and even dental patients. Figures also show there were 3.2m fewer elective surgeries in the same period, with 5.6m coming in for care during the pandemic compared to 8.8m pre-Covid.Patients were left struggling to access care through repeated lockdowns as the health service turned its attention to Covid.

In August, GPs only saw approximately 58 percent of their patients for a face-to-face appointment, which some health conditions require.

Before the pandemic, doctors were seeing approximately 80 percent of their patients for in-person appointments.

Inside GP chaos: Doctor's appointments © GETTY Inside GP chaos: Doctor's appointments

Surgeries are also suffering from a chronic shortage which came to a head this year.

The NHS England numbers for March each year since 2016 show a gradual decline in GP ranks.

In 2016, the health service employed 28,052 doctors, and today only 26,912.

Numbers have fluctuated over the last five years, and while the latest figures show a slight increase, there are only 164 more than 2020.

Inside GP chaos: Sajid Javid © GETTY Inside GP chaos: Sajid Javid

Approximately 100 to 400 staff vacated their roles on average before then.

These shortages, coupled with the stresses of the pandemic, have left GPs exhausted, with "burnout and stress" hampering their efforts.

Eight in ten Britons want an 'in-person' GP appointment

  Eight in ten Britons want an 'in-person' GP appointment Some 85 per cent of Britons believe they should be entitled to an 'in-person' appointment with their GP - and not be fobbed off with a remote consultation by phone or video. More than half (53 per cent) say they struggle to obtain a face-to-face appointment, with nearly three in ten (27 per cent) who have asked to see their GP in person in the past year saying they have been told no.More than four out of five (83 per cent) say they prefer traditional in-person consultations, and nearly two thirds (65 per cent) say illnesses are likely to get worse if they are treated remotely.

Dr Preeti Shukla, Clinical Advisor to myGP and GP in East Lancashire, said "overwhelming" demands have left them unable to feel proud of the last year and a half they have spent serving the UK.

She said: "Exhaustion from the pandemic, coupled with a shrinking workforce, has left GPs topping the list for burnout and mental distress amongst all medical professions."

"While my colleagues have much to be proud of, notably leading vaccine centres across the country, overwhelming patient demand has left no time for GPs to acknowledge the good they've achieved in the last eighteen months."

The Government has provided some sticking plaster relief in a £250 million fund for temporary staff.

Health minister Sajid Javid has promised to return services to their pre-pandemic look.

But Dr Shukla said the "hybrid" model of face-to-face and remote appointments provides a "vital lifeline" for treating a spectrum of patients.

Leading doctors say general practice in Herts is 'at breaking point' .
They are highlighting rising demand and staff shortages . © Bauer GP Nicolas Small said that his practice, in Hertsmere, could receive in excess of 800 calls from patients per day – and he outlined the ‘frantic’ nature of surgery life. He said the intensity of their 12-hour days at the surgery was so much that it could feel like being in an ‘accident and emergency’ department.

usr: 0
This is interesting!