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‘Increased bureaucracy’ stifling GP morale

23 September 2013

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GPs want to be free from “increased bureaucracy” and box-ticking so they can spend more time meeting the needs of their patients, a survey from the British Medical Association (BMA) shows. 

Almost all of the 3,500 GPs who completed the survey believed that bureaucracy and box-ticking had increased over the past year (97%) and many (94%) also said their workload had increased. 

Many GPs also said the new targets were reducing the number of appointments available for patients (82%). 

And 90% said their practices resources were likely to fall in the next year. 

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the BMA’s GP Committee said: “GP practices are already struggling with declining funding and rising patient demand, especially from an ageing population. Recent changes to the GP contract have created additional and unnecessary workload that is diverting valuable time away from treating patients.

“Despite this difficult environment, GPs are working harder than ever before. There is a wealth of experience and talent in general practice that could be harnessed positively for patient care.” 

The survey also found that almost nine in ten GPs did not think that more targets would improve patient care. 

And 86% of GPs reported a loss of morale over the past year. 

Dr Nagpaul added: “The BMA wants to work with the government to deliver real benefits to patients and remove the administrative burden that is putting pressure on already overstretched GP services. 

“We particularly need to see how we can free up more time to deliver the personalised care that patients deserve and meet the challenges from an increasing number of older patients who need coordinated and effective care.”