We all know that the one on one confidential consultation is the bedrock of primary care. We have been taught that confidentiality is paramount, and as a profession we have honoured this. However, being a GP (or any type of Dr) means complaints and possibly litigation at some time in your career. These problems are much less if the Dr is a) female and b) British trained.
False claims against doctors are not yet commonplace, but to keep the confidentiality and the confessional nature of the GOP consultation will need audio-visual recordings in every room. The patient can undress behind a screen, but the acoustics should remain even when the video is missing.
An alternative, accepted in many hospitals and most dental practices, is to have a “chaperone” or another person (assistant) present at all times with patients. GPs could move in this direction, as could teachers. Male teachers in particular know about “false claims” against them. More and more teachers and doctors are female ….. the adverse selection processes, the timing of recruitment, and the behaviour of students/patients/clients is excluding men.
The Yorkshire Post 11th May 2017 reported: Growing GP recruitment problem ‘staggering’ as vacancies hit new … ITV News reported 12th May 2017: ‘Staggering’ GP recruitment problem hits new high – ITV News – ITV.com and the Standard followed it up with a report by Eleanor Rose: GP recruitment problem “staggering” as vacancies hit new high, research shows. Jaimie Kaffash for Pulse reports 12th May: One in five practices abandon recruitment due to ‘staggering’ shortage of GPs
Almost one in five practices has had to abandon searching for a new GP as vacancy rates have hit their highest ever, a shocking Pulse survey has revealed.
Pulse’s annual practice vacanies survey was answered by 860 GPs and reveals that 12.2% of all positions are currently vacant – an increase from the 11.7% reported at the same time last year.
More worryingly, 158 said they had to give up recruiting a GP in the past 12 months after unsuccessful attempts.
The survey – the only longitudinal data available on this subject – also reveals that the average time taken to recruit a GP partner has lengthened by almost a month over the past year….
Dr Richard Vautrey, deputy chair of the BMA’s GP Committee, said: ‘The high number of positions vacant and one in five practices abandoning their search) is another sign of the recruitment crisis with many practices struggling to find GPs.
‘This is adding to the pressure of the remaining staff. Some practices are looking to recruit therapists, pharmacists and other health professionals but of course they are not a replacement for a GP. There needs to be a real step-change in recruitment initiatives to ease the pressure on GPs.’
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the RCGP, said: ’We know that practices across the country are finding it really difficult to recruit GPs to fill vacant posts, and the degree to which this problem has increased over the last six years is staggering. In the most severe cases, not being able to recruit has forced practices to close, and this can be a devastating experience for the patients and staff affected, and the wider NHS.’