Overcrowded and Oversubscribed
Milton Keynes is a city that continues to grow rapidly. Located in a fast-growing area on the eastern side of the city, we currently have 13,430 patients on our books with six full-time GPs.
Our patients are predominantly young families, and we have very high consultation rates for mental health problems, minor illness and minor injuries.
In the coming years the pressures on our practice are likely to increase and we may have to look towards increasing, not only our list size to 16,000 plus, but also expanding the practice.
For the next seven years our Minimum Practice Income Guarantee (MPIG) funding is being withdrawn at a rate of £21,000 a year. In addition, due to our patient demographics, we only receive funding for 75% of patients on our registered list. This combined with the loss of a proportion of the QOF funding, means that it will be very difficult to recover from the loss of the MPIG.
To offset this we will have to greatly increase the number of patients per GP to main sufficient practice funding to remain viable and provide the same level of patient care.
One down side to this is that, by increasing our individual list sizes, we will have even less time than we have now to adequately deal with the paperwork, hospital correspondence and checking of results which comes with it.
Even more serious is the adverse effect it will have on patient access and safety, and the wellbeing of our GPs and staff faced with a significant increase in workload.
Then there are the practice premises. Ours are new by most standards, built in 2003, but it was designed for four GPs and a registrar. To meet demand we now have six GPs and two registrars in the same space.
To accommodate this we have moved all administration upstairs and based a GP in a room originally designed as a base for district nurses, while at the same time we have had to convert two store rooms, a dirty utility room and a toilet into consulting rooms.
Since 2004 we have been trying to work with the PCG, which then became the PCT, and now we have a local area team. With all we have pushed for help to increase our capacity and each time nothing has happened, resulting in us having to close our practice list four times for safety reasons due to over capacity.
The short of it is that we’re operating in a building well above its designed capacity, in an area of significant local population growth, and so far we have not had any help from the NHS to support us.
Dr Darren Moore, a GP based in Milton Keynes
Despite carrying out 90% of all NHS patient contacts, general practice only receives 8.39% of the NHS budget in the UK — an historic low. By 2017, this is projected to plunge to just 7.29%.
As a result, general practice is facing a growing crisis.
Due to the sheer volume of GP workloads, in this year alone, patients will have to wait longer than a week to see their GP on at least 27m occasions.
And, according to a poll carried out in March, more than three fifths of the public now believe that the number of patient consultations carried out by GPs — up to 60 per day — is threatening the level of patient care.
to protect high quality services for all patients, we the undersigned, call on the Prime Minister to increase the share of the NHS budget spent on general practice in England to 11% by 2017.
This shift in funding would enable general practice to deliver:
- Shorter waiting times for appointments and more flexible opening hours
- Longer consultations, especially for people with long term conditions
- More opportunity for patients to see a GP who knows them
- Better care co-ordination and planning, especially for the elderly and those with complex needs
- Positive benefits for the NHS as a whole, reducing pressure on hospitals
GP surgeries sit at the heart of local communities. We demand that the Government acts now to ensure practices have the resources they need to continue to provide the high quality care patients deserve.
Please send your completed petition by 15 august 2014 to:
Royal College of General Practitioners, Stephenson Way, LONDON, NW1 2FB