GPs in South Yorkshire are 'on their knees' doctor says as she calls for more government funding
A South Yorkshire doctor has said GPs in the county are currently ‘on their knees’ and called on the government to provide more funding to primary care.
The doctor, who preferred to remain nameless, was talking to the annual general meeting of Sheffield Save Our NHS, a group which campaigns on behalf of NHS patients and staff.
She said colleagues were struggling to cope with massive patient numbers, which have increased by more than 30 per cent during her career.
And she added that every new government initiative seemed to add even more work to an already unmanageable workload.
She said: “When I started there were 1,900 patients per full-time equivalent doctor and we are probably about 2,500 now.
“But not only have you got extra patients, the demands that those patients are making has also gone up.
“Nothing else has gone up. Money hasn’t gone up, staff hasn’t gone up it’s gone down if anything.
“I was doing 20 patients a day and now I am doing 45. We are on our knees.”
The GP said the money provided by the government’s much-heralded five-year plan, while welcome, would actually come to them via new roles like clinical pharmacists and social prescribing link workers, which they had to partly fund.
She said: “If they gave me that money I would get another doctor. That is what I want.
“But they say no, you can’t have that money. We will give you all these new roles and then they work for you and you pay 30 per cent of what they cost.
“But one clinical pharmacist for 45,000 patients is not even a drop in the ocean. It is a backhanded way of making GPs work harder.”
As well as being a family doctor, the GP is also the clinical director of a primary care network, groups of practices that work together to deliver healthcare to tens of thousands of people.
However, the GP said she was worried that the development would inevitably lead to the creation of ‘superpractices’.
“They are not saying it in so many words but that is what they are doing,” she added.