General Practice - The Facts
In the past GPs worked in their practice during the day and also covered patients overnight. The change to split day time working from overnight was done because it was not seen as being safe to be up much of the night and then work the next day and be expected to make safe decisions.
Between 2002 and 2011 the number of full time equivalent Consultants has increased by 54%, GPs by 23% and Practice Nurses by 14%.
A full time GP in England works an average of 50 to 60 hours per week. On an average day a GP will see 30–40 patients in the surgery, undertake 2-3 home visits, and carry out anywhere between 5-20 telephone consultations.
The majority of newly qualified GPs are female. This has had a positive impact on general practice in terms of offering patients choice.
More GPs are now working part time. This may be due to family commitments but may also be because they have other roles outside the practice
We are not perfect and are always seeking to improve our services to meet your needs but we need your help and support.
Important information about General Practice and your GP
We know that most patients value their Practice and GPs.
The facts about general practice in 2013 are somewhat different from those that are frequently reported in the national media.
The NHS is not perfect and can always improve. For every episode of poor care there are thousands of positive experiences.
GPs are committed to provide high quality, patient centred care. We hope we achieve this for you and your family.
The current life expectancy in England is 81 years, which is better than the USA at 80 years.
Over the last 10 years the average life expectancy in England has increased by 2 years. It has been acknowledged that the excellent care provided by GPs and their practice teams has made a significant contribution to this.
Please work with us to provide the best level of care we can for you and your family. This leaflet has been produced for patients by a body that works on behalf of GPs to try and put a more balanced and objective view to the patients of this practice.
General Practice - The Facts
General practice is seen by many as the “jewel in the crown” of the NHS, yet the media coverage would suggest that everything that goes wrong in the NHS is now the fault of the GPs.
In 2013, a US Healthcare Think Tank, the Commonwealth Fund, praised the NHS for offering the best primary care services in the world.
Interesting facts about general practice:
- The average practice has 7,500 registered patients.
- In 2013, a national GP survey reported 88% of the population’s experience of general practice was good. Over 89% of people with chronic conditions reported their experience of general practice was good. The vast majority of patients were satisfied with practice opening times.
- In 1995 there were 218,000,000 consultations in general practice. By 2009 this had increased to 300,000,000 and in 2013 further increased to 320,000,000. Latest figures indicate this is now 370,000,000 consultations per year.
- The average patient saw a clinician in their practice 3.9 times per year in 1995. By 2009 this had increased to 5.5 times.
- Over 1 million people have an appointment with general practice every day.
- Looking at general practice consultations in 1995, 86% were seen at the surgery, 3% had telephone consultations and 9% had a home visit. In 2009, 82% were seen in the surgery, 12% had telephone consultations and 4% had home visits.
- In 1987 the average length of appointment in general practice was 6 min. Normal surgery appointments are booked at 10 -12 minute intervals.
- Over 90% of all contacts with the NHS occur in general practice.
- There are 10.5 million people in the UK who are aged 65 or more and this is expected to increase by 50% in the next 20 years, this will result in significant additional demand on the NHS.
- In the UK, 18 million people have a chronic condition and this is expected to increase by 30% in the next 10 years—the majority of chronic conditions are managed in general practice.
- In 1996 there were 1.4 million patients with diabetes in the UK, in 2011 this had increased to 2.8 million and by 2016 3.6 million.
- General practice receives less than 9% of the NHS budget to take care of you and your family. General Practice provides many services for this small amount of the total budget. We believe we could do far more with a fairer share of the total budget.
- The media suggests that practices are only open from 9—5 on weekdays; the truth is practices are responsible for your care from 8am—6.30pm on weekdays.
- Latest media reports suggest GPs do not work “Out of Hours”, i.e. when practices are closed. Is this true? No, it is not.
- GPs do work Out of Hours, in your practice area there will be a provider of this service who has an NHS contract and they employ GPs to provide this service. Many local GPs work for this service.
- GPs are not responsible for the crisis in Accident and Emergency Departments.