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GPs and doctors surgeries

Ten-minute GP appointments aren’t good enough. Jeremy Hunt admits

GP appointments that last only ten minutes are no longer fit for purpose, Jeremy Hunt admits. The Health Secretary said the complex needs of an ageing population require consultations of up to an hour. He declared GPs who know patients and families personally are the best thing about the health service. But he admitted decades […]

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GP appointments that last only ten minutes are no longer fit for purpose, Jeremy Hunt admits.

The Health Secretary said the complex needs of an ageing population require consultations of up to an hour.

PA:Press Association
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has admitted that 10 minute consultations were no longer fit for purpose[/caption]

He declared GPs who know patients and families personally are the best thing about the health service.

But he admitted decades of underfunding, soaring workloads and the looming retirement of so many doctors poses a threat.

Mr Hunt told the Royal College of GPs in Liverpool that he plans to boost doctor numbers to tackle the problems.

However, he insisted GPs could do their own bit by freeing up time and directing more people to pharmacists and nurses.

The Health Secretary said the complex needs of an ageing population require consultations of up to an hour
Rex Features
The Health Secretary said the complex needs of an ageing population require consultations of up to an hour[/caption]

Mr Hunt said: “Many of those GPs that I meet are knackered; they are often feeling at the end of their tether.

“They feel they are on a hamster wheel of ten-minute appointments, 30 to 40 of them every day.

“If our health system is going to become sustainable we have to move to a model where we value prevention as much as cure.”

Doctors yesterday said surgeries were at risk of becoming part of the gig economy with patients booking appointments and getting random GPs.

ON YOUR BIKE DOC

FAMILY doctors should set an example by walking or cycling to work and then holding consultations standing up, the country’s biggest GP conference has heard.

Surgeries could also have exercise bikes for people to use while waiting for their appointment.

Dr Andrew Boyd told the Royal College of GPs annual meeting in Liverpool: “You’ve got to practice what you preach.

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GPs and doctors surgeries

Pensioners add to NHS crisis by visiting GPs ‘just to have someone to talk to’

LONELY pensioners add to the health crisis by booking doctors’ appointments to have someone to talk to, Britain’s top GP says. Helen Stokes-Lampard, head of the Royal College of GPs, says the elderly crave the ten minutes of contact in a consultation. But they take appointments from people with real medical complaints. Dr Stokes-Lampard will […]

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LONELY pensioners add to the health crisis by booking doctors’ appointments to have someone to talk to, Britain’s top GP says.

Helen Stokes-Lampard, head of the Royal College of GPs, says the elderly crave the ten minutes of contact in a consultation.

Science Photo Library - Getty
Elderly people often crave company[/caption]

But they take appointments from people with real medical complaints.

Dr Stokes-Lampard will tell the RCGP conference in Liverpool today: “If nothing is done, loneliness will take its toll on the entire health system.”

She will add: “Social isolation and loneliness are akin to a chronic long-term condition in terms of the impact they have on our patients’ health and wellbeing.

“GPs see patients, many of whom are widowed, who have multiple health problems like diabetes, hypertension and depression, but often their main problem isn’t medical – they’re lonely.

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Trainee doctors could get a joining bonus[/caption]

“The guidelines say we should be talking to them about their weight, exercise and prescribing more medication – but really what these patients need is someone to listen to them and to find purpose in life.”

Dr Stokes-Lampard will also call on the government to cut red tape and tick boxes to give overstretched GPs “time to care”.

Workload in general practice has risen 16 per cent over the last seven years but investment has declined and the workforce has not increased in pace with demand.

Almost half of surgeries are currently trying to recruit at least one GP.

Meanwhile trainee doctors could get a £20,000 “golden hello” for taking GP jobs in regions with severe recruitment problems.

They would get the lump sum on their first day if they agree to stay for at least three years.

Those that leave sooner will have to pay some of the cash back, under the plans to be unveiled today by the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

EPA
Hunt is set to unveil new cash plans[/caption]

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