The latest official data shows that about 60 percent of GP appointments in January were held in person, compared to about 80 percent before Covid.
Mr Hunt spoke at the launch of a new campaign, Rebuild General Practice, which is supported by the British Medical Association (BMA) and the General Practice Defense Fund.
The group calls on the government to support primary care by meeting recruitment targets, combating factors that “drive GPs out of the profession” and provide a plan to reduce the workload of GPs.
Polls by the group of 1,395 British GPs showed that nearly nine in ten anxiety patients are not always safe in their surgeries.
Operations only ‘one or two’ resignations from closure
dr. Kieran Sharrock, the deputy chair of the BMA GP committee, told reporters that surgeries are only “one or two” layoffs from closure and called for patient lists to be closed as doctors can’t meet current demand.
In the past eight years, more than 800 primary care practices have been closed and 2.5 million patients have lost access to their personal doctor, said Dr. shar rock.
“If the pressure on individual GPs remains at the level it is now and they continue to feel that their job is unsafe, it can take one or two of them to just leave and suddenly you can’t run the practice,” he said. he. added.
“You don’t have enough people on the ground to really see the patients, and that then leads to a knock-on effect of the next person leaving and the next person leaving, and suddenly the safe and stable practice is no more. †
Practices with “short-term” staffing problems have temporarily closed their patient lists, said Dr. Sharrock, adding that “realistically every practice should close its list because we can’t handle the workload we already do”.
The BMA believes that general practitioners would need to see about 25 patients a day to operate safely, but Dr. Sharrock said he has more than 90 contacts a day “regularly”. “Is that safe? Would you be patient?’ he asked.
Patients must give GPs breathing room
Patients should work with primary care physicians to “take the pressure off,” said Dr. Sharrock, “just to give us the breathing room so we can take care of the people who really need it”.
He recommended seeking help from a pharmacist, “waiting to get better,” or doing some “self-help on the Internet.”
dr. Brian McGregor, a GP in York who supports the campaign, said there is a “social problem” that means patients are encouraged to talk to their doctor before joining a gym, using a tanning bed or undergoing cosmetic surgery. resulting in unnecessary work.
“Gyms say ‘before they do a workout program’ [speak to your doctor]’, when you go to the gym. Exercise is good for almost everyone. There are very few people who shouldn’t. So why should they talk to their GP about that?” he said.
In another example, Dr. McGregor that anyone entering a race in France must have a doctor’s note to participate.
“From an access standpoint, that 35-year-old who wants to run the Paris marathon takes an appointment, often face-to-face because they think they can convince you face-to-face better,” he said.
“Wanting their letter takes that appointment away from the 76-year-old who doesn’t have the IT knowledge to actually make a digital online booking and has to rely on the phone. And by the time they get to the phone, it’s gone.”