17 November

In latest health news GP surgeries are to be inspected due to a claim that patients are struggling to get a GP appointment. An investigation was delivered by Watchdog (noted by the BBC), in which due to the expansion in primary care, there is sometimes an urgency for staff. Consequently, this can cause an effect to the service that is provided during appointments.

To prevent future issues, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have set a standard for all GP surgeries to abide by. Practices were placed under inspection between April and September this year. These were pilots for the new regime that came into action start of October, and will involve nearly 8,000 practices being inspected by March 2016. The surgeries will be given a rating from good, requires improvement or inadequate.[1]

The report did note that most surgeries were performing well, and at a great standard. However a few have slipped below the bar, and therefore guidelines had to be put in place to ensure all practices were at the same level.

If practices do not fix the issues detected during inspection, after a 12 month try (if necessary), their contract and support with the NHS may be terminated.

Here at Primary Care Professionals we are extremely aware of the urgency for primary healthcare. GP surgeries are soon to be a prominent reliance for patients in the future. This was also shown in the report, where statistics by Dr Maureen Baker, chairwoman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, stated:

“Since 2010, the number of patients visiting their GP has risen by over 120,000 a day…We also have a desperate shortage of GPs in many parts of the country, with many practices finding it difficult to replace doctors who are retiring. To ensure patients can get the level of service they deserve, we urgently need to recruit 8,000 more GPs by 2020.” [2]

Although this may cause pressure on already struggling surgeries, it is something that would evidently be put in place in the near future. Primary Care Professionals see many GP’s who seek locum work in surgeries, and they perform a marvellous job. Both GP’s and patients want to work, or visit, the surgery in a suitable environment, to which the process is made as easy and helpful as possible.

We hope that these new inspections will only serve to better the GP’s at work, and the patients who seek advice.

But what are your thoughts? Are you a GP who thinks this is unnecessary? Is it too much to demand?

Please let us know, we want to hear your voice!

[1] BBC News, (2014). Patients ‘struggling to book with GP’. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30072905 [Accessed 17 Nov. 2014]

[2] Ibid

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