Written evdence submitted by Dr Sarah Jahfar (FGP0278)

Current General Practice

-     I have been a GP partner since 1998

-     The GP partnership model is extremely efficient and cost-effective. It would be sustainable if the workload matched what is humanly possible.

-     Over the years, GPs are dealing with massively increasing complexity, as hospital specialists (both inpatient and outpatient facing) hand more and more over to GP. Simple, quick cases are being dealt with by allied health professionals, meaning that we are left managing very complex cases in 10 minutes. When we ask for expert opinions, we are increasingly being given advice and guidance, making us like the senior house officer for the consultant doing all the practical work for the patient, work that hospitals used to provide.

-     There has never been any ring fenced funding for GPs dealing with large populations who cannot speak English. We need double appointments, at least, for these.

-     Most GPs love the content and nature of the job. We love serving our patients. However, we are currently being worked in to the ground and have been for many years. The workload has never been planned according to what is safe and humanly possible. Consulting with BMA documents on safety in GP and reviewing my own experience, I know that 23 patient contacts in a single day would allow for 15 minute appointments, a half hour lunch break and some admin work - all within a 9 to 10 hour day. If we were to arrange our appointment book like this, we would reduce patient access massively - but we would maintain GPs in their posts and would avoid GP burnout. A 9-10 hour day of intense and highly responsible work is still a lot, but would be manageable compared to current 12-13 hour days. It would avoid people leaving in their droves and only applying to work 2-3 12 hour days per week or applying as retained doctors only.

-     Please look at your GP workforce. Look at what is possible for a conscientious and highly trained medical professional to achieve in a working day. Allow us to set up our appointment books accordingly.

-     Fund premises, so that we have space to employ people to do the work. We are currently hot desking and working from home due to lack of room.

-     Create overflow hubs, so that patient demand can be met.

Dec 2021