FAMILY doctors in Wiltshire are under pressure because of increasing workloads and a shortage of new GPs according to south Wiltshire practitioners.
Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s governing body was told that savings had to be made by using acute hospitals less and treating patients at home or close to their home in the community.
But Dr Celia Grummitt, vice-chairman of the Sarum Group of GPs, said while GPs understood this, workloads were increasing and resources strained.
Dr Grummitt, of the Cross Plain practice in Shrewton and Durrington, said: “GPs are feeling under pressure and under resourced to do the day job. The NHS is not looking well.
“We have doctors working 15 hour days; they are not going to run off and leave their patients, but they can’t sustain it.”
Dr Toby Davies, chairman of the Sarum Group and a GP in Ludgershall and Tidworth, said: “The Government’s new contract (for GPs) has made it worse. For two per cent of our most vulnerable patients we have to contact them and write a care plan. In many ways it’s a good idea but they have given us just two months to do that.”
He said a survey by Wessex Local Medical Committee had found that 430 GPs will retire in the next two years and only 300 GPs were being trained.
Dr Grummitt said: “There is a shortage of GPs, and young doctors are leaving this country in their droves. Fifty per cent of current student doctors say they will go abroad.”
The CCG meeting, held in Devizes on May 20, was told that it had ended the 2013/14 financial year with a £5m surplus, as planned. This money will be returned to the Department of Health.
For this financial year the CCG plans to finish with a surplus of £5.3m. Its budget has increased by almost £4m to £525m.
It plans to redesign services to release £11.6m, of which £7m will be from acute hospitals.
The CCG’s annual report and accounts are due to be published on its website on June 13.