A recent report from the Londonwide Local Medical Committee highlights the increasing pressure on GP Suregeries across London. An article in the Guardian explains that changes in support services like Health Visitors and Community nurses has meant that more people have turned up at their GP’s.
It goes onto say;
Representatives of 7,000 GPs at 1,300 practices claim they cannot cope with existing demand and that the situation will get worse as London’s population soars to 9.2 million by 2020
“In deprived areas, GPs are seeing patients in their mid-40s with multiple long-term conditions … which would normally only be present in those over 70,” but have only 10-minute appointments in which to help them.
Family doctors are struggling as hospitals give them more tasks related to the care of discharged patients: “Hospitals are pushing too much on to GPs, such as the management of more and more medical conditions and also prescription of drugs that previously patients would have had done at hospital. GPs are sick and tired of having more work and responsibilities dumped on them. Low morale and burnout are common.”
GPs’ time is also being taken up writing letters for patients who hope that that will help them move up the ladder for social housing, sicknotes for pupils who have missed only one day off school, and undertaking NHS health checks, “which most GPs think are a waste of time,”
We believe that Pharmacies are in a unique position to help out in London but also across the country. With Pharmacies being open longer hours, with consultation rooms available and a staff that can help with a number of common ailments they are the obvious choice to provide some of this missing support for GP’s. Pharmacy cannot do this for free so some sort of financial settlement needs to be agreed that is cost effective for the tax payer but at the same time meets the genuine need.