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Stress causing GPs to ‘miss serious conditions’

12 May 2014

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Eight in ten GPs (84%) are worried about missing a serious condition in a patient due to their workloads, according to new research. 

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) commissioned poll showed that 91% of family doctors feel that general practice does not have sufficient resources to deliver high quality patient care.

When asked to what extent they worried about missing something serious with a patient because of their workload, three in ten GPs (29%) said they worried a great deal, while over half (55%) said they worried a fair amount.

Only 7% of GPs felt that general practice is sufficiently resourced in order to deliver high quality patient care.

The poll showed that 96% of GPs find working in general practice stressful.

RCGP spokesperson Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard said: “The fact that more than 80% of GPs worry that they will miss something serious in a patient, due to their high workloads, is a damning indictment of the impact of the deepening funding crisis in general practice. Family doctors and practice nurses want to provide their patients with excellent patient care – and this takes the right levels of funding. However, only 7% of GPs currently think sufficient investment is going into general practice.

“Our poll shows that family doctors are severely demoralised and this can only be bad news for patients. The fact that GPs and practice nurses conduct 90% of the NHS patient contacts for just over 8% of the NHS budget is shocking – and this poll shows how damaging this funding crisis is for our patients.

“It is truly staggering that 70% of family doctors do not think that general practice, as we know it, will even exist in ten years’ time – and shows that, among those who work in it, there is now a real crisis of confidence in the future of general practice.”

ComRes questioned 251 GPs online across the UK, for the survey, between 21-24 March.