Wessex LMCs Key Patient & Media Messages
The messages outlined below will enable General Practice to devote its resource to deliver safe and effective patient care.
GP Workload Crisis
Dr Andy Purbrick, Joint CEO of Wessex LMCs, explains how the workload crisis leaves GPs feeling sad and frustrated in his BBC South Today interview.
Why are patients struggling to get through to their GP?
Dr Laura Edwards, Joint CEO of Wessex LMCs talks to ITV Meridian about why patients are struggling to get through to their GP. Share this interview via your social media channels or website
Demand vs Supply in General Practice
Following Dr Laura Edwards Meridian interview, she talks with Dr Edd Rendell about the huge mismatch in patient demand vs staffing levels in General Practice. Listen to the podcast here
General Practice is open and working harder than ever...
General Practice is open and is offering face to face appointments, but it is also....
- facing unprecedented demand which is outweighing capacity (particularly with the increase in winter illnesses and childhood Strep A cases).
- facing staff sickness and shortages. General Practice is struggling to recruit for vacant posts, and find locum cover so that patients can still be seen if a colleague is sick or absent.
- dealing with increased patient list sizes, with an ageing population, and more complex health needs.
- being affected by the backlog elsewhere in the NHS.
GPs and their practice teams are delivering a high number of consultations, and face to face appointments are available to patients where there is a clinical need.
By triaging patients to the correct care, people may see a member of the extended healthcare team, instead of their GP. Matching patients to the healthcare professional who is most suited to their specific condition often means people get the help they need quicker than if they had gone through a GP. A recent survey of the 'Our Health Our Future panel', which is made up of people living across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire, revealed that 89% of people would be happy to see another clinician, and that 81% would also accept an appointment with a pharmacist.
The great majority of appointments are face-to-face with a GP, or other healthcare professional. NHS Digital Data from October 2022 shows that 71.3% of all appointments carried out that month were face to face.
Consultation rates per patient have increased, leading to GPs & their staff working harder than ever to prioritise patient care. NHS digital data also indicates the average number of patients each GP is responsible for has increased by nearly 17% since 2015 to 2,260.
General Practice is working harder than ever....
In October 2022, the highest number of GP appointments ever was offered at an estimated 36.1 million appointments*
This visual represents the daily work being carried out by GPs and their teams in addition to patient contact*
*Wessex LMC version with thanks from e-GP Learning who created the concept
Please be patient and kind to General Practice staff...
It's recognised that waiting for an appointment can be frustrating. GP practices are there to support their community, and ask patients please show them support by being kind, patient and responsible when accessing their services.
Patients will receive all the services they need, but not necessarily those they may want. Demand for services can be high at times, and staff appreciate it can take a while to speak to a member of the team, but kindly ask that patients be courteous and respectful.
During these difficult times, practice teams are working hard to protect both staff and patients. Help practices focus on caring for you. Let’s make sure General Practice continues to be a great place for staff, and patients to be cared for.
Your GP surgery needs your support, so it can be there to support you...
|GP staff are grateful for the support and understanding of patients which was reflected in the July 2022 GP Patient Survey|
|72% of those surveyed had a positive overall patient experience of General Practice.|
|93% of those surveyed gained confidence and trust in the healthcare professional they saw.|
What can patients do to help?
- Consider whether your request for an appointment is appropriate. Would other NHS services more adequately meet your needs?
- Remember most appointments are set up for a single issue in a 10 minute appointment and you are likely to need to book another appointment if you have multiple separate issues to discuss
- Find out what support your practice needs, and talk to others to help them understand the current crisis.
- Think about joining your practice's Patient Participation Group.
- Together, talk to your local MP about your practice's problems.
We ask that patients support their surgery so it can be there to support them. General practice desperately needs help, which is why the BMA are calling on the Government to provide the funding needed to provide better services and more GPs, and staff to see people promptly.
|Please take a minute to sign the BMA petition and show your support for your local practice by visiting www.bma.org.uk/supportyoursurgery or scan the QR code.|