GP surgeries 'on brink of collapse'

Hampshire Chronicle: Millions face a postcode lottery in GP services according to research carried out by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Millions face a postcode lottery in GP services according to research carried out by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP)

Millions face a postcode lottery in GP services as chronic underfunding has left doctors surgeries' "on the brink of collapse", a top medic has warned.

Research carried out by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) showed a stark divide in access to doctors, with people living in the most deprived communities facing the longest waiting times.

The study found that 22% of people in Bradford raised concerns about not being able to make an appointment with their GP. Whereas the figure was just 5% in Bath and north-east Somerset.

There are "shocking discrepancies" in the number of GPs employed locally, the RCGP warned. North, east and west Devon have 60 GPs for every 100,000 patients - three times as many as Slough in Berkshire which has just 22.

The poorest appear to be the hardest hit by this patchwork of provision, with e ight of out of ten areas with the longest GP waiting times having moderate to high levels of deprivation.

The College said the research, based on the GP Patient Survey, showed the profession is " creaking under the weight of a growing and ageing population".

They have launched a campaign to demand an extra £3.5 billion a year to be ploughed into GP services, and have put up posters in surgeries showing patients having to queue down the street for an appointment unless extra cash is found.

Dr Maureen Baker, chairwoman of the RCGP said: "Every single patient should be able to see their GP when they are in need of medical assistance, regardless of where they live.

"It is absolutely shocking that, due to the current funding crisis in general practice, patients are now facing a postcode lottery.

"It is doubly unacceptable that those patients affected tend to be those who live in deprived parts of the country."

A growing and ageing population coupled with a surge in patients with multiple and chronic conditions was piling pressure on GPs, but their share of the NHS budget has been slashed, she said.

Dr Baker said: "Family doctors are working harder than ever - but with increasing patient demand, due to a growing and ageing population, and plummeting investment, there simply aren't enough GPs to go round.

"There is now a desperate shortage of GPs in many parts of the country, leaving the service teetering on the brink of collapse.

She added: "Over the last decade, investment in general practice has slumped and has now reached an all-time low, with GPs conducting 90% of NHS patient contacts for just 8.5% of the total NHS budget.

"GPs want to provide high-quality care for every single patient, but at a time of plummeting resources we are seeing 40 million more patients a year than just five years ago.

"The simple fact is that family doctors are now heaving under unsustainable workloads, with the majority now routinely conducting 60 patient consultations in a single day."

The College said the number of visits to GPs has soared from an estimated 300m to 340m in the past five years, and a t least 10,000 more GPs need to be recruited to ease the pressure.

Dr Patricia Wilkie, president of the National Association for Patient Participation said: "Patients across the country are frequently unable to obtain a timely appointment with a GP, because there simply aren't enough GPs in some local areas.

"This postcode lottery is totally inappropriate with clear and potentially serious implications for patients.

"It is clear that the root of the problem is a shortage of GPs and the lack of funding for general practice. Without appropriate funding for general practice the situation for patients will only deteriorate."

NHS England said they are recruiting and training more GPs. A spokeswoman said: "Patients should have good access to health services, regardless of where they live.

"This year, for the first time, NHS England introduced a deprivation factor into local health budgets to start to redress historic funding issues."

Comments (7)

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4:18pm Sun 1 Jun 14

High Treason says...

My doctors practice now has 3 times the number of doctors it had 8 years ago. Then I could get an appointment within 24 hours. Now it is often 2 weeks. Where have all these people come from?
My doctors practice now has 3 times the number of doctors it had 8 years ago. Then I could get an appointment within 24 hours. Now it is often 2 weeks. Where have all these people come from? High Treason
  • Score: 0

4:29pm Sun 1 Jun 14

Steve VT says...

High Treason wrote:
My doctors practice now has 3 times the number of doctors it had 8 years ago. Then I could get an appointment within 24 hours. Now it is often 2 weeks. Where have all these people come from?
Europe - Vote UKIP and get out.
[quote][p][bold]High Treason[/bold] wrote: My doctors practice now has 3 times the number of doctors it had 8 years ago. Then I could get an appointment within 24 hours. Now it is often 2 weeks. Where have all these people come from?[/p][/quote]Europe - Vote UKIP and get out. Steve VT
  • Score: -1

7:44pm Sun 1 Jun 14

Devils Advocate says...

I read that UK IP will keep things roughly the way the rest of the right-wing have, Reducing sick pay, family income support, re-introducing casual labour (Zero hours contracts) and, most important of all, reducing the cost of the health service. If the newspapers were forced to report only the truth and not what the highest bidder wanted them to publish, perhaps honesty would play a large part in squaring up our problems. The right-wing took away the promised vote for the people when they joined us up, because they "Feared we would not vote the way they wanted to" I see nothing different all these years later. We have gone from the finest health service in the world to the virtual wreck we see now. That is all down to the right-wing. Where are UK IP on this, truthfully?
I read that UK IP will keep things roughly the way the rest of the right-wing have, Reducing sick pay, family income support, re-introducing casual labour (Zero hours contracts) and, most important of all, reducing the cost of the health service. If the newspapers were forced to report only the truth and not what the highest bidder wanted them to publish, perhaps honesty would play a large part in squaring up our problems. The right-wing took away the promised vote for the people when they joined us up, because they "Feared we would not vote the way they wanted to" I see nothing different all these years later. We have gone from the finest health service in the world to the virtual wreck we see now. That is all down to the right-wing. Where are UK IP on this, truthfully? Devils Advocate
  • Score: 2

6:23pm Mon 2 Jun 14

welshmen says...

Devils Advocate wrote:
I read that UK IP will keep things roughly the way the rest of the right-wing have, Reducing sick pay, family income support, re-introducing casual labour (Zero hours contracts) and, most important of all, reducing the cost of the health service. If the newspapers were forced to report only the truth and not what the highest bidder wanted them to publish, perhaps honesty would play a large part in squaring up our problems. The right-wing took away the promised vote for the people when they joined us up, because they "Feared we would not vote the way they wanted to" I see nothing different all these years later. We have gone from the finest health service in the world to the virtual wreck we see now. That is all down to the right-wing. Where are UK IP on this, truthfully?
Ukip will produce their Manifesto after their Conference, the Media will try and draw answers off them on the orders of their owners to try and sow the seeds of hate and no trust in UKIP, Ukip are going to shake their Ivory Towers at the next General Election....Change is needed, we can run our own Country....
[quote][p][bold]Devils Advocate[/bold] wrote: I read that UK IP will keep things roughly the way the rest of the right-wing have, Reducing sick pay, family income support, re-introducing casual labour (Zero hours contracts) and, most important of all, reducing the cost of the health service. If the newspapers were forced to report only the truth and not what the highest bidder wanted them to publish, perhaps honesty would play a large part in squaring up our problems. The right-wing took away the promised vote for the people when they joined us up, because they "Feared we would not vote the way they wanted to" I see nothing different all these years later. We have gone from the finest health service in the world to the virtual wreck we see now. That is all down to the right-wing. Where are UK IP on this, truthfully?[/p][/quote]Ukip will produce their Manifesto after their Conference, the Media will try and draw answers off them on the orders of their owners to try and sow the seeds of hate and no trust in UKIP, Ukip are going to shake their Ivory Towers at the next General Election....Change is needed, we can run our own Country.... welshmen
  • Score: 0

8:52pm Tue 10 Jun 14

Almeda11 says...

Steve VT wrote:
High Treason wrote: My doctors practice now has 3 times the number of doctors it had 8 years ago. Then I could get an appointment within 24 hours. Now it is often 2 weeks. Where have all these people come from?
Europe - Vote UKIP and get out.
l visit Europe a lot, Germany in particular and there they DON`T have a problem seeing their doctor.
Stop blaming Europe for everything, this is a BRITISH problem, brought about by bad organisation and the failure over the past 20 years to train more doctors.
[quote][p][bold]Steve VT[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]High Treason[/bold] wrote: My doctors practice now has 3 times the number of doctors it had 8 years ago. Then I could get an appointment within 24 hours. Now it is often 2 weeks. Where have all these people come from?[/p][/quote]Europe - Vote UKIP and get out.[/p][/quote]l visit Europe a lot, Germany in particular and there they DON`T have a problem seeing their doctor. Stop blaming Europe for everything, this is a BRITISH problem, brought about by bad organisation and the failure over the past 20 years to train more doctors. Almeda11
  • Score: 1

9:00pm Tue 10 Jun 14

Almeda11 says...

Article Quote:
"Dr Maureen Baker, chairwoman of the RCGP said: "Every single patient should be able to see their GP when they are in need of medical assistance, regardless of where they live."

Completely agree with the doctor, and 50 years plus, we WERE able to see the doctor, when we needed too.
A simple system of doors open between 9-10-30 am, and 4-30 to 6-30pm, meant that patients were seen on a first come first served basis, and were seen when they needed to be.

This could work in group practices today, the only difference being that you would get the next available doctor, if patients wanted to specifically see the doctor of their choice they would then have to make an appointment.

This country has gone backwards to the days when l was a child !!
Article Quote: "Dr Maureen Baker, chairwoman of the RCGP said: "Every single patient should be able to see their GP when they are in need of medical assistance, regardless of where they live." Completely agree with the doctor, and 50 years plus, we WERE able to see the doctor, when we needed too. A simple system of doors open between 9-10-30 am, and 4-30 to 6-30pm, meant that patients were seen on a first come first served basis, and were seen when they needed to be. This could work in group practices today, the only difference being that you would get the next available doctor, if patients wanted to specifically see the doctor of their choice they would then have to make an appointment. This country has gone backwards to the days when l was a child !! Almeda11
  • Score: 2

12:01am Wed 11 Jun 14

Devils Advocate says...

We certainly need to get our nation back to work. Basic lesson the Tories taught us: Live within your means. basic fault they made by continuing to flood the labour market: We do not have the infrastructure to support the flood. I also notice that their chat about the market is now moving to "Get a better deal." Not "If we vote to stay in...."
We certainly need to get our nation back to work. Basic lesson the Tories taught us: Live within your means. basic fault they made by continuing to flood the labour market: We do not have the infrastructure to support the flood. I also notice that their chat about the market is now moving to "Get a better deal." Not "If we vote to stay in...." Devils Advocate
  • Score: 0
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