Decline and fall of General Practice

The decline of General Practice has been evident to all of us close to the “hot end” for some years now. Watch for Private healthcare development and demand as the systems implode and let us all down. It will begin with GPs in large towns and cities, and progress to private A&E departments. There is no plan and politicians are in denial. Standards are falling, especially in training, and it looks as if differential post-code outcomes and life expectancy will follow in the next WHO report on the UK. The hot end is getting so hot it might become a desert..

Image result for decline and fall health cartoon

Kat Lay reports in The Times 12th April 2017: Thousands of GPs plan to quit in next five years

Seven in ten GPs intend to stop seeing patients, take a career break or reduce their hours within the next five years, according to research.

Two family doctors in every five intend to walk away from the profession, according to the study, with the proportion rising steeply with age.

By age 56, almost 90 per cent said that they would quit within five years, compared with less than 20 per cent of under-45s.

The figures come from a survey of doctors in the southwest but GPs’ leaders said that they were indicative of the whole of the UK, with low morale pushing people out of the profession…..

Emily Fletcher and others in the BMJ open report:

Quitting patient care and career break intentions among general practitioners in South West England: findings of a census survey of general practitioners

Zara Aziz in the Guardian 12th April : Time for a rethink on GP numbers; The GP recruitment crisis is only going to get worse as overwork and low morale push doctors out of the profession. More funding is desperately needed

The training and competence of doctors – letters in the Times following Doctors who trained abroad ‘far more likely to be incompetent’

‘My private GP surgeries can take the strain off the NHS’



This entry was posted in A Personal View, Medical Education, Rationing, Stories in the Media 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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