LMC Conference 2014: Government urged to tackle GP workforce crisis

GP representatives have called on ministers to prioritise the GP workforce crisis threatening primary care and patients' safety.

Dr Farah Jameel: workforce crisis (photo: Pete Hill)
Dr Farah Jameel: workforce crisis (photo: Pete Hill)

Proposing a motion for Ayrshire and Arran LMC, Dr Hugh Brown said the profession faces the ‘biggest workforce crisis in a generation’.

'Trainee vacancies remain unfilled,' he said. ‘Many trainees are taking longer than three or four years to complete their training, some choose not to complete their training.’

Partnership opportunities were plentiful, he said, but were not attractive.

‘We are bleeding GPs at both ends of their career,' he said.

NHS needs more GPs

‘We need more GPs, to reduce the workload and the burden on the present workforce. This workforce crisis is deep, and is not going to go away without multiple actions.’

Dr Rosalynn Morrin from Ayrshire and Arran told the conference she feared having to return to work with a very young baby because of the difficulties of finding maternity locum cover.

GP workload ‘combined with the demands of caring for a newborn baby’, she said, ‘fuel my concerns for patient safety’.

East Sussex LMC’s Dr Farah Jameel who works as a locum explained why she wasn't attracted to partnership.

Colleagues drowning in paperwork

'What is inspiring about watching colleagues drowning in never ending piles of paperwork,' she asked. 'CQC, GMC, CCG, QOF. Increasing government and patient expectations. Falling practice incomes.'

Derbyshire LMC’s Dr John Grenville said: ‘We have to get the message out to politicians, and more importantly to the public. They don’t realise how bad it is.’

GPC’s Dr Chris WIlliams said the calls for understanding from GPs was a sign of the desperation.

GPs unanimously backed a motion on workforce.

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