Health chiefs out of touch with crisis in general practice – Even the King’s Fund agrees

Katie Gibbons reports in The Times 5th May 2016: Health chiefs out of touch with crisis in general practice (The gender bias towards females if assessment is at undergraduate level does not help. Graduate entry to medical schools would help.) Even the Kings Fund agrees there is a crisis. Causes of GP crisis revealed in new analysis.. (5th May 2016)

Health chiefs repeatedly missed the growing crisis in GP practices over a number of years and are now “flying blind” in their attempts to tackle it, a report has found.

The government has been accused of ignoring “the ever-worsening” situation. While patient consultations have soared by 15 per cent in the past five years, the GP workforces has increased by only 4.75 per cent

Very little national data has been collected on family doctor services in the past decade, making the pressures faced by GPs “largely invisible” to health officials, an investigation by the King’s Fund think tank found.

Its report, published today, concludes that if such data had been available, the Department of Health and NHS England could have taken steps to alleviate the unprecedented pressures that surgeries are now failing to cope with.

“The government are flying blind. It is incomprehensible that they are attempting to assess services using out-of-date information,” said Beccy Baird, author of the report. This contrasts with A&E departments, which are run using “almost real-time A&E data”.

“The nature of work undertaken by GPs is becoming more complex,” Ms Baird added.

“They are now involved in follow-ups, new treatments and medications, things that would have previously been done in hospitals.”

David Abranovich’s drive through  overall broad brush assessment (Its the GPs I worry about – full article) is correct (The Times 5th May 2016). The denial continues, and a knee jerk response will come eventually. What a pity if the “overt rationing” needed to found a Health Service properly is not discussed beforehand.

..”One day someone will have to have the guts to say to the British people (it’s not only England that has the problem), that our desire to live very long lives and, if possible, to live without being in chronic pain, needs to be paid for. In taxes. By compulsory health insurance. Through more and more charges for services. But paid for with more money than we spend at the moment. Now go and honk for that.”

Its the GPs I worry about

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This entry was posted in A Personal View, Political Representatives and activists, Rationing, Stories in the Media, Trust Board Directors on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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