Intended for healthcare professionals


The pressures on general practice

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: (Published 11 May 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i2580
  1. Veronica Wilkie, professor of primary care1,
  2. Alwyn Ralphs, director of postgraduate programmes2
  1. 1Institute of Health and Society, University of Worcester, Worcester WR2 6AJ, UK
  2. 2School of Medicine, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK
  1. Correspondence to: V Wilkie v.wilkie{at}

A new King’s Fund report tries to explain them

Hot on the heels of NHS England’s General Practice Forward View1 2 comes the King’s Fund’s analysis of the pressures affecting British general practice.3 It seeks to explain the burnout among GPs and their staff and their accelerated departure from primary care.

The exhaustive analysis reviewed 30 million patient contacts from 117 practices. More than 300 GPs in training were surveyed, and 60 in-depth interviews were carried out with practice staff. The findings are consistent with other recent reports of rising consultation rates, particularly telephone consultations.4

The King’s Fund’s report echoes the Commonwealth Fund’s report on UK general practice in 2015.5 6 GPs feel isolated from those who commission them and stressed by their inability to influence what they regard as unnecessary workload. At the same time, they’re expected to provide continuity of care to those that need it and timely access to all who want to see them. Meanwhile, …

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