- 1 min read
The lead story in this weekend’s Sunday Times was about the dire situation facing GPs and their patients. GPs have to spend up to 20% of their time doing paperwork, which means far less time to talk to or see their patients.
Although there was an election pledge to increase GP numbers by 6,000 by 2024 the number of full-time GPs fell from 29,364 in 2015 to 27,627 in May this year, with absolutely no sign of the extra 6,000 that we were promised.
Many people are opting for private consultations as they struggle to see a GP face to face. GPs are also under so much pressure they usually have to cram appointments into 10 minutes at a time. In some practices, if you want to discuss more than one ailment you have to book another appointment.
At MCG Healthcare we are at the ‘coalface’ of finding GPs for surgeries, often at very short notice, and we talk to our candidates all of the time. Being a doctor is a vocation and medical training is intense. The government, any government, needs to encourage not only more people to choose medicine as a career but also to incentivise doctors not to leave the profession or to come out of retirement for at least a few days a week.
This isn’t about money, it’s about stress, overwhelming workload, pension penalties and not being listened to. GPs get frustrated that they can’t do the job they were trained to do and patients get angry and go to A&E departments. Something has to change, and soon.
We work with our clients to find permanent GPs but often these roles take time to fill and have to be supplemented with locum roles which end up costing surgeries more than a salaried GP.