GPs facing cuts and ageing patients crisis, warn doctors

GPs facing cuts and ageing patients crisis, warn doctors

Dr Stephen Liversedge

Dr Wirin Bhatiani

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , health reporter

GP surgeries in Bolton are heading towards a crisis, leading doctors have warned.

The growing demands of the ageing population, paired with funding cuts, are pushing general practice to breaking point in the borough, it is claimed.

Health chiefs say the system has to change if surgeries are to shoulder the burden of the town’s health care.

Dr Stephen Liversedge, clinical director of primary care at Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “General practice is struggling to meet the demands across four areas.

“The first is increasing demand from our ageing population, who have multiple health needs. We have underestimated the complexity of the problem and the investment of time it has taken to resolve.

“Secondly, more patients are being discharged from hospital early and we have to support the issues surrounding that.

“Thirdly, patients like chatting things through with their GPs. They are prepared to self-care, but they need the reassurance that what they are doing is appropriate.”

The fourth reason is that GPs do not operate on a tariff for the services they provide.

Even though the number of patients they treat is increasing, the funding they receive from NHS England remains the same.

Dr Liversedge added: “When GPs will describe their working day, most of them say their work has become much more extensive and without a break.”

When asked whether general practice is in crisis, Dr Liversedge said it was not, but admitted the NHS is.

However, Dr Wirin Bhatiani, chairman of Bolton CCG, said: “We are not at crisis point because our GPs are incredibly resilient and come up with innovative ways of dealing with the demand.

“If we don’t do something, we will reach crisis point and that crisis is not too far away.”

Patient groups say access to GP appointments is a problem.

Jack Firth, chairman of Bolton HealthWatch, said: “GP practices need to work differently. A lot of people in Bolton say they cannot access their GP.

“I understand that a lot of people ask to see their own GP and that it’s not always possible.

“But a lot patients struggle to get appointments and the GPs need to do something differently.”

Comments (6)

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7:35pm Thu 31 Jul 14

boltonnut says...

The ageing population who have worked all their life are being shunned in order that illegal and the growing flood of "legal" immigrants can have first dibs.Pretty soon female circumcision will take preference over by pass surgery.
The ageing population who have worked all their life are being shunned in order that illegal and the growing flood of "legal" immigrants can have first dibs.Pretty soon female circumcision will take preference over by pass surgery. boltonnut
  • Score: 6

7:40am Fri 1 Aug 14

oftbewildered2 says...

we knew 30 years ago about this 'demographic timebomb'. It wasn't going to go away. This is the generation who were there at the birth of the NHS, who worked to develop it and are so often now let down by it.
we knew 30 years ago about this 'demographic timebomb'. It wasn't going to go away. This is the generation who were there at the birth of the NHS, who worked to develop it and are so often now let down by it. oftbewildered2
  • Score: 3

9:16am Fri 1 Aug 14

Harold 1 says...

GPs might stand a chance dealing with increasing demand if they weren't run ragged chasing futile targets set by the likes of Drs Liversedge and Bhatiani who cleverly duck the real work of general practice by making themselves absent from their surgeries. Too many chiefs /box tickers /stuffed shirts taking a nice living from the NHS without adding any value
GPs might stand a chance dealing with increasing demand if they weren't run ragged chasing futile targets set by the likes of Drs Liversedge and Bhatiani who cleverly duck the real work of general practice by making themselves absent from their surgeries. Too many chiefs /box tickers /stuffed shirts taking a nice living from the NHS without adding any value Harold 1
  • Score: 5

10:51am Fri 1 Aug 14

Thatissowrong says...

Facing a crisis - really? Consider this: there are 6 GP's at the surgery I use. Looking at their schedule they all only work 3, yes 3, days a week each. Come half-term and school holidays 3 of them are always on holiday. Nice and cosy.
Facing a crisis - really? Consider this: there are 6 GP's at the surgery I use. Looking at their schedule they all only work 3, yes 3, days a week each. Come half-term and school holidays 3 of them are always on holiday. Nice and cosy. Thatissowrong
  • Score: -1

12:47pm Fri 1 Aug 14

Harold 1 says...

Thatissowrong wrote:
Facing a crisis - really? Consider this: there are 6 GP's at the surgery I use. Looking at their schedule they all only work 3, yes 3, days a week each. Come half-term and school holidays 3 of them are always on holiday. Nice and cosy.
They may get paid pro rata !
[quote][p][bold]Thatissowrong[/bold] wrote: Facing a crisis - really? Consider this: there are 6 GP's at the surgery I use. Looking at their schedule they all only work 3, yes 3, days a week each. Come half-term and school holidays 3 of them are always on holiday. Nice and cosy.[/p][/quote]They may get paid pro rata ! Harold 1
  • Score: 1

6:04pm Fri 1 Aug 14

Thatissowrong says...

Harold 1 wrote:
Thatissowrong wrote:
Facing a crisis - really? Consider this: there are 6 GP's at the surgery I use. Looking at their schedule they all only work 3, yes 3, days a week each. Come half-term and school holidays 3 of them are always on holiday. Nice and cosy.
They may get paid pro rata !
It's not about how they get rewarded but how little access their patients have, hence my comment.
[quote][p][bold]Harold 1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Thatissowrong[/bold] wrote: Facing a crisis - really? Consider this: there are 6 GP's at the surgery I use. Looking at their schedule they all only work 3, yes 3, days a week each. Come half-term and school holidays 3 of them are always on holiday. Nice and cosy.[/p][/quote]They may get paid pro rata ![/p][/quote]It's not about how they get rewarded but how little access their patients have, hence my comment. Thatissowrong
  • Score: 1

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