Just because there are more GPs, it does not mean they work more hours!

The Wales GP information is available at GP-one – designed for General Practices in Wales. Just because  there are more GPs, it does not mean they work more hours! And the demographics mean we need more, with more time for more complex problems. There is an added problem in having a majority of female GPs and doctors, apart from their reduced hours, in that A&E, which involves shift work, is inadequately manned in all the peripheral DGHs. Not enough money, not enough doctors and nurses, not enough honesty, and too much denial. The collusion between the media and the politicians will perpetuate the problem: indeed its going to get much worse. The demand was not unprecedented. NHS reality has been warning about this under capacity for 7 years.

‘From what I can see patient care seems acceptable.’

  • The number of general practitioners in Wales (excluding registrars, retainers and locums) was 1,964 at 30 September 2018, an increase of 38 (2.0%) since 2017.  There were 6.5 GP practitioners per 10,000 population in 2016
  • 2,986 total GPs (all Practitioners, Registrars and Retainers plus Locums registered to work) at September 2018, 50 more or 1.7% greater than 2017.
  • 230 GP Registrars at 30 September 2018, a decrease of nine since 2017
  • 14 GP Retainers at 30 September 2018, a decrease of three since 2017
  • There are fewer practices in Wales than a decade ago.  In 2016 the number of GP partnerships was 11.1 per cent lower than in 2006.  The number of patients per practitioner has fallen by 3.2 per cent since 2006 but patients per practice have consequently risen.
  • In 2013 there were 470 general practices in Wales, a decrease of 4 practices (0.8 per cent) on the previous year (2012). In 2014 there were 462 general practices in Wales, a decrease of 8 practices (1.7 per cent) on the previous year 2013. There were 441 general practices in Wales in 2016 a decrease of 13 practices (1.7 per cent) on last year.
  • There were 778 GP Locums in Wales at 30 September 2018.
  • The number of GP Practitioners approaching state retirement age is low, with over 90% of GP Practitioners under the age of 60. The number of GP practitioners aged 55 or over has remained steady in the last five years, with around 22.2 per cent of the GP practitioner workforce falling into this age band in 2016.
  • The percentage of GPs who are female has increased. In 2005 female GPs accounted for 34.7 per cent of the total, in 2013 they accounted for 46.6 per cent. In 2014 female GP practitioners accounted for nearly half (48.6 per cent) of the GP Practitioner workforce, an increase of 378 (63.3 per cent) since 2004.  In 2015 female GP practitioners accounted for over half (50.4 per cent) of the GP Practitioner workforce, and increase of 365 (56.9 per cent) since 2005.  Females accounted for only 32.9 per cent of the total in 2004. In 2016 female GP Practitioners accounted for over half (52.4 per cent) of the GP Practitioner workforce, and increase of 375 (54.9 per cent) since 2006.  Females accounted for only 36.1 per cent of the total in 2006.
  • The Guardian 17th November 2019: NHS bosses accused of gagging staff during election campaign and Gove ‘lying’ about EU citizens’ NHS rights to gain votes
  • The Guardian 18th November 2019: NHS running short of dozens of lifesaving medicines
  • Is the NHS facing unprecedented demand? BBC news
  • Poor state of Welsh health. The experiment with devolution has failed….
  • How to reduce quality of care further: A 32 hour week is less than 25% of the whole…
  • No “healing” the country or the 4 health services yet
This entry was posted in A Personal View, 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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