Can GPs Control Their Workload?...
23 January 2015, GP Online
GPC guidance offers practices advice on how to manage workload and stand up to unreasonable demands...
Wessex LMCs chief executive Dr Nigel Watson says there is a risk the guidance could be interpreted wrongly as using patients in GPs'
battle with commissioners. 'What we want to do is enable things to happen, not use it as a battle tool to go in to fight everybody, because that won't be productive,' he says.
GPs need to ensure that pushing back against unfunded work does not mean using the 'patient as a battleground' over individuals' care, he warns. 'But we do need to recognise general practice is not going to be able to work if more and more work is just pushed over and practices aren't able to deliver it.'
Dr Watson agrees that getting 'patients on board' is critical to the success of attempts to manage workload. 'If we don't keep patients onside, we have no hope,' he says.
To date, says Dr Watson, CCGs have been largely responding to the secondary care agenda. But with aspirations outlined in NHS England's Five Year Forward View document to shape more care around out-of-hospital services, commissioners will need to pay more attention to ensuring that GPs can properly manage their workloads.
The guidance, says Dr Watson, is 'a starting point' that can help practices manage local issues.
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