Survey reveals financial insecurity of GP practices

Survey reveals financial insecurity of GP practices

Over half (55%) of GP partners believe that their practice is less financially secure than it had been a year ago according to a survey carried out by GPOnline in January 2019. Just 6% of GP partners felt their practice was more financially secure, and 75% said that they had felt no positive impact from GP Forward View funding or from additional investment made available via their GP contracts.

Concerns raised by survey respondents included increased staff costs, recruitment problems, and a heavy workload that is made worse by the need to spend time chasing multiple funding streams.

These pressures have contributed to the decision of many GPs to take on locum work rather than becoming practice partners, or to change career. More than 1,800 GPs left the profession in the two years to September 2018.

One GP who took part in the survey commented: “We struggle to pay our staff for the work that they do. We compete for funding in winter with commercial

pharmacies for flu vaccine payments and lose out. We struggle to maintain the existing service and cannot provide more without significant extra funding to pay for it.”

Commenting on the survey, Dr Richard Vautrey, chair of the General Practitioners’ Committee, said that its findings demonstrate that the current level of funding does not address GPs’ workload or their recruitment needs, adding: “Government has to take the crisis we have seriously and match their verbal support for general practice with real and significant investment that is able to make a tangible difference.”

Shortly after the GPOnline survey, the Department of Health & Social Care published its ‘NHS Long-term Plan’, which included a pledge to increase funding for primary and community care by £4.5 billion by 2023/24.

Survey reveals financial insecurity of GP practices
Survey reveals financial insecurity of GP practices

 

Survey reveals financial insecurity of GP practices