Letters, calls and emails: Consultation length was not debated by grass-roots GPs

Dear Editor

I was disappointed by the comments of Dr Krishna Korlipara, a GMC member, who appears to believe that the updated GMC guidance, ‘Good Medical Practice’ will necessitate a lengthening of GP consultations from 10 minutes to 15 (GP, 8 September).  

Updating GMC guidance is of course necessary, and few doctors would oppose involving patients in making decisions about their medical management. However, many would argue that this already happens in the standard GP consultation.  

It is surprising that this should translate into a 50 per cent increase in consultation length, and by implication a 33 per cent decrease in GP appointments, since very few GPs I know have much spare working time.  

It is even more surprising that Dr Korlipara should state that this will ‘accentuate the shortage of doctors’, without suggesting how the shortage will be addressed. This is in an environment in which non-EU doctors are finding it hard to get work, at least two deaneries are unable to honour appointments to GP training, PCT suspensions are increasing, and proposed regulation changes are leading many GPs to consider early retirement.  

There may be arguments for lengthening GP consultations; let those be debated openly.  

The imposition of longer consultations by the GMC with minimal discussion and without due consideration of resource implications cannot be right.  

The issues of principle underlying this report call into question the basis upon which the GMC makes its decisions — and its comments to the press.  

Dr Peter Gooderham  


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Sign outside BMA House

GP suicide sparks calls for measures to protect doctors from spiraling workloads

The government and policymakers must do more to safeguard doctors and NHS staff from...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: Living with long COVID

In August we’re bringing you some of the best interviews from series one of the podcast....

NHS sign outside a building

Surrey GP took her own life after her job 'became overwhelming'

A Surrey GP, described as a 'dedicated, passionate and much loved' doctor, has taken...

Jeremy Hunt

Hunt tells Tory leadership hopefuls to halt pension tax charges on doctors now

Former health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt has called for an immediate suspension...

GP in consulting room

GPs forced to prescribe antidepressants to young people denied mental health support

GPs are being forced to prescribe antidepressants to children and young people who...


Babylon accounts cast doubt on future of GP at Hand

NHS GP services for more than 100,000 patients registered with the controversial...