GPs should say no to more work, GPC says

Primary care is 'saturated' and further rises in workload will affect patient care, the GPC has said.

Dr Buckman: primary care cannot keep accepting work from secondary care
Dr Buckman: primary care cannot keep accepting work from secondary care

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said that the primary care workforce and premises do not have the capacity to carry on accepting work increasingly being transferred from secondary care.

He said that the GPC has warned the UK governments and NHS Employers that primary care cannot take on more work without more resources.

Dr Buckman: what GPs are telling the GPC about workload

Dr Buckman said it has come to the point where GPs should say 'no' to more work.

'We have tried to remind the governments and NHS Employers that things are now getting very difficult, very tight in general practice, that there is no capacity to do any more and that we have got to stop saying we will do more,' he said. 'And that is very difficult, doctors don’t like saying they won’t do any more. But actually taking on more work is not good for patients.

‘You are actually spreading a stretched workforce even thinner, and expecting them to deliver once they are saturated with work.'

He added: ‘GPs all around the country are telling us that they are work-saturated, that they can't do anymore, that with the secondary to primary care shift, they are being encouraged to take more work.

'They do not have the workforce, as doctors or nurses or others, to carry out these extra duties, they have GP work that is getting more onerous and work that is coming in from hospitals back into practice that they can't cope with either.’

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