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GPs concerned over increased workloads
GPs in Wiltshire may have to join with other practices to cope with increasing workloads, the county’s GP leader has warned.
Dr Steve Rowlands, chairman of Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said he echoed the findings of a British Medical Association survey of GPs which showed that 94 per cent of GPs in England said their workload had increased and 82 per cent felt some of the new national targets were reducing the number of appointments available to patients.
Dr Rowlands said the increase in GPs’ workload was due to fewer full time GPs, a rise in patient demand and more people living longer and with long term conditions.
He said: “We have to be careful we don’t get GP burn-out. Inevitably people in Wiltshire will have had a phone call from their surgery in the last six months because their GP is off sick and the practice needs to cancel the appointment or arrange for a locum doctor to see them.
“Currently at medical school most people are going into secondary care. Instead of 40 per cent going into general practice it should be between 60 and 70 per cent, but if we talk about that now it will be nine years until they are ready to work in general practice.
“I think the future of general practice is really interesting. I think we will be looking at bigger, federated practices and we have to be more creative in the way we work. Practices are increasingly using triage nurses (to assess which medical professional should see a patient or advice given).
I think we are blessed in Wiltshire with really good GP practices and that’s supported by patient satisfaction surveys.”
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