Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central and member of the Health Select Committee, spoke about the crisis in GPs, following the Health Select Committee’s report on the future of general practice.
While the government has promised 6,000 more GPs by 2024, it has only recruited 1,672 and less than half of them (717) are working full time, while more and more doctors leave or cut their hours due to burnout, stress and trying to get a job. life balance. 58.4% of GPs now work 3 days or less, but use the rest of the week to do administration or other work-related tasks, leaving only 23.2% of GPs working now full time.
Meanwhile, since 2019, demand for GP services has increased by an average of 8.9% and even more for some. The Health Select Committee has recommended that 1,000 additional training places are needed each year to deal with the staffing crisis and has recommended a 4-year GP training program to enable doctors to upgrade their skills. GP must also look to the wider health team of specialist nurses, physiotherapists and mental health workers to complement the services provided by GPs, which is being rolled out in York.
Central to the Committee’s recommendations is to return to GPs carrying a list of patients. Currently, 43.4% of people have a direct relationship with a designated GP, 62% of those over 85 and only 39% of younger patients aged 16-24. The strong evidence received by the Committee showed that where people have an appointed GP, hospital admissions have fallen, fewer people have gone to the emergency room and fewer people have accessed out-of-hours services. work. However, research by the British Journal of General Practice showed that for dementia patients it reduced delirium and reduced admissions, so important for keeping people in familiar surroundings.
However, research by Professor Steinar Hunskår from the University of Bergen highlighted how 11 out of 11 studies showed that it was safer and more effective for patients to have a direct relationship with their GP, including reducing the mortality, emergency room admissions, risks and poor outcomes. between 25 and 30%
When GPs know their patients, especially when they have complex health needs, they are better able to analyze their health and meet their holistic needs, while ensuring safer patient care.
MP Rachael Maskell said:
I recognize the incredible commitment of GPs and their dedication to their patients and want them to be empowered and invigorated in their careers. The report of the health select committee offers a way out of the crisis in general medicine and towards better care. However, the government must heed this report and implement its recommendations, starting with a serious focus on funding and growing the primary care workforce and tackling the considerable pressures GPs and staff are facing. primary care.
I believe we have a great opportunity at York to make meaningful progress in care in the community and ensure that patients are at the very heart of the system. This is why general practitioners have dedicated themselves to treating us. We all know it’s frustrating when services are under such strain, but 12 years of underfunding primary care by this Conservative government has taken its toll. Labor has pledged to double the number of medical training places and increase the rest of the NHS workforce, so we can make sure the system is safe and works for everyone.