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GPs under pressure from increased workload

31 July 2007

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GPs are working harder than they ever have before, carrying out longer consultations and treating more patients, a survey shows.

The British Medical Association (BMA) say GPs are increasingly treating patients who used to be cared for in hospital even though they are working similar hours.

Routine asthma, cardiac and diabetes care is now being carried out in general practice.

The average length of a GP consultation has also risen from 8.4 to 11.7 minutes.

Dr Laurence Buckman, chairman of the BMA’s GPs committee, believes that longer consultations “deliver better care for patients” but place greater pressure on GPs.

Full time GP partners see over 100 patients a week face-to-face and although clinicans in the practice team see patients, GPs provide most of the consultation workload.

He adds: “The way that GPs work now, with their teams, is better for patients, better for the NHS, but it means that GPs are working under much greater pressure, dealing with increasingly complex cases.”

British Medical Association