Pressure on GPs can put your patients at risk

Recent statistics are showing shocking signs of the pressures felt by GPs across the UK. In a recent study 52% of GPs stated that they felt they cannot work safely as the workload is too high. With most salaried GPs working 12 hours per day and 8 of the 12 being hands on clinical practice, is there anything you can do to help your GPs? The answer is yes! There is requirement for change and you can implement these effective changes now!


Workload control strategies

By placing a workload control strategy, you are ensuring patient safety and quality appointments over quantity. Practices implementing this alternative to high workload are reporting high staff retention rates and increased practice productivity.


-Agree with salaried and Locum staff clear limits of practice with regards to; quantity of patients, individual abilities with regards to practice, ensure healthcare professionals know what a safe practice looks like to them.


-Promote system changes to ensure your practice runs efficiently.


-Ensure your entire practice team are aware of the current Operational Pressures Escalation Level to ensure you can deliver and maintain care safety.


-Highlight common practice working patterns; telephone consultations, triage and admin tasks. Ensure staff are able to carry out these tasks while ensuring quality care and patient safety.


Ensure patients know when to use the service

GP workload is often increased unnecessarily by the misuse of local GP services. Alternatives to using your GP for minor ailments are not just cost effective for your practice, but also time effective for patients.


-Ensure patients are aware of what can be seen and treated by pharmacists.


-Offer the help of practice nurses for simple conditions that do not require prescriptions.


-Promote healthy living within the practice to ensure patients avoid illness before requiring medical assistance.


Empower healthcare professionals

High quality support and training is the key to a smooth-running practice with less strain on salaried staff. Training can be provided to also support individual competencies resulting safe practice.


-Support salaried staff by providing feedback and training sessions to improve areas in which staff may struggle.


-Provide patient feedback to staff to help keep them motivated.


-Ensure staff training on any implemented systems to ensure competency and safe care.


Look into alternative staffing

Many GPs feel pressured due to staff absence, maternity leave and long-term sickness. Practice managers must have measures in place to ensure correct staff numbers. This step into reducing GP workload is where AppLocum comes in.


What can recruiting Locum staff do for your practice?


-Offer specific skills such as minor surgery


-Provide regular, long term sessions when practices need them most


-Release pressure of existing staff during busy times


-Increase surgery times during busy winter period


-Add a variety of care team members within the surgery from; GPs to ANPs and practice nurses


We have covered the benefits of using Locums in previous articles and the outcomes within allied surgeries speak for themselves! The biggest benefits for the use of Locum GPs is their ability to relieve the burden on salaried staff, this in turn has a positive outcome when relating to patient care. Patients are seen in a cost effective, timely manner; creating a safe environment and most definitely safe practice.


With the Winter pressure season upon us we are seeing the strains on GPs increasing and GP appointments becoming difficult to attain. Now is the time to seek assistance for your salaried staff. Our friendly advisors are available to discuss how AppLocum can assist your practice and improve the quality and safety of patient care.

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