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General practice workload is unsustainable, real time data show

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i2470 (Published 05 May 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i2470
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. London

Demand for primary care in the past five years in England has far outstripped the cash and staff available, leading to a crisis in general practice, the King’s Fund has found in a new report.1

Though this will come as little surprise to GPs who have been complaining about an unsustainable workload, the report provides concrete evidence to back their complaints. Despite being awash with paper, the NHS in England lacks real time information on primary care, and this report aims to fill the gap.

Its sources included data collected over five years from 177 general practices by TTP, a supplier of GP information systems, together with a one week snapshot survey of 43 practices and interviews with 318 GP trainees. Along with additional qualitative data, the report provides a solid basis for assessing the current state of primary care. The data were analysed before NHS England announced on 21 April that it would invest extra money in general practice each year, rising to …

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