General practice is at breaking point with more than half (53.3 per cent%) of GP practices in the South East saying the quality of service to patients has deteriorated in the last 12 months and almost seven out of 10 (65.3 per cent) of practices saying the current workload is unmanageable a lot or all of the time. This is the result of rising workload, including increasing patient demand for appointments which is placing unsustainable pressure on GP services that have been starved of resources and staff, leaving patients waiting longer to see a GP. Across England, there were more than 600 GP trainee positions left unfilled in 2015, while a third of the workforce is considering retirement in the next five years. This comes at a time when GP practices across the country are seeing 150,000 more patients each day than in 2010, but have seen no extra resources to maintain effective, safe care to the public.
Politicians have to realise that general practice is currently running on empty. GPs desperately want to provide the best possible service for patients, but we need improved resources and support to provide patients with the care they deserve.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul
GP committee chair
British Medical Association
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