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Why it is so difficult to get a doctor’s appointment in Sheffield: GP lifts the veil on ‘frenzied’ pressure from the NHS UK News

Dr Ben Allen, general practitioner partner at Birley Health Center, wrote a public ‘apology and explanation’ and posted them on social media, in which he described the reasons GPs were struggling with workloads , and also sought to dispel some of the “myths” that were circulating. on the care that general practitioners are able to provide.

Now, Dr Allen has spoken to The Star to give a more in-depth doctor’s perspective on the matter.

“In patient circles people say we can’t reach the GP and they don’t care anymore and there is never an appointment. There is a feeling that ‘they think the service has changed and that’s because GPs don’t try or give I don’t care much about that,’ Dr Allen said.

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“But when people come from outside to work with us, or for a work experience or an internship, they can’t believe how busy it is here. They say they thought it was relaxed. during an operation at a general practitioner but in fact most of the time the work is frantic.

“Doctors are frustrated with patients and patients are frustrated with doctors when in reality neither is at fault here.

“It is caused by a number of different pressures that have occurred over the decades. The nature of medicine has changed.

Birley Health Center

“People are living longer and with a higher level of medical complexity than ever before, which we are not used to.

“There won’t be a sudden crisis; things are slowly getting worse.”

Dr Allen explained that while doctors were not to blame for patients’ difficulties in seeing their GPs, he felt that apologizing for the situation everyone was in would help people. to understand.

He said: “The reason for the apology I wrote was because I think it’s important to have a sense of humility about this. GPs are exhausted from working so hard and they feel like they have no reason to apologize, and I understand that. They didn’t do anything wrong.

“But I understand that sometimes the services patients get may not be what they hoped for when they feel really sick and not getting what they think they need can be quite overwhelming and having to wait for appointments can be. be quite painful.

“So I felt the need to apologize, not because it’s our fault that it’s like that, but because of the way it’s seen and experienced. is like that, but explain why it is like that. “

The main problem facing GPs, Dr Allen said, is the ever-increasing workload associated with lack of funding.

“I’m not trying to blame anyone, but the work of general practitioners needs more funding,” he said. “GPs get around £ 150 a year for each patient, and every year the workload increases, but any small increase in funding doesn’t. Almost keep pace.”

“The caseload is increasing and so it requires funding to make it doable. At the moment, it’s not doable. In hospitals, if you do more operations, you get more funding.

“But we still have the same contract for around £ 150 per person, but the amount of work we have to do to fulfill that contract is getting harder and harder every year.”

Dr Allen also explained that the situation has worsened due to the delay accumulated during the lockdown and the surge in demand for GP services now that the lockdown has eased.

“There has been a massive increase in demand, but we can’t say where it’s coming from,” he said. “People may have avoided problems during the lockdown or the wait for hospital care is so long. [due to pressure caused by Covid on hospitals] and we are responsible for taking care of people awaiting operations.

“There is also definitely a backlog of chronic disease management cases – people with diabetes, asthma, blood pressure issues, drug reviews and mental health cases.

“There are a lot of things that we haven’t been able to do over the past two years and we need to be proactive in clearing this backlog.”

And the problems raised by the high demand have been compounded by the requirement for general practitioners to provide the necessary personnel to carry out the vaccine deployment.

This concern has led to the decision of many GPs not to do vaccinations for young people so that they can begin to clear their backlog of other cases.

Dr Allen explained: “The main problem we face is that we have to use all of our staff to make vaccines which usually do our normal job. It is an inevitable problem.

“We’ve had GPs who’ve given vaccines, nurses who’ve given vaccines, and chiefs of staff pulled out to handle this. That’s the big problem.

“The first phase of the deployment concerned people over 50 and people in vulnerable situations. General practitioners generally said yes to doing it because it was important that these people be vaccinated locally.

“But many – including us – have said no to phase two, which is for people under 50. These people are usually better able to access mass vaccination centers or participate …

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This notice was published: 2021-06-03 09:09:54

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