28 November 2016
Unmanageable workloads are threatening patient safety, GPs have warned in a survey by the British Medical Association (BMA).
The union for medical professionals called for increased recruitment to fill staffing shortages, including more nurses and mental health workers in primary care; as well as higher funding and better self-care programmes for patients.
Survey over 5,025 GPs across England, the BMA found that 84% were under “unmanageable” or “excessive” workload pressure that has a direct and impact on the quality and safety of care patients receive.
As many as 64% of the doctors wanted to see an increase in community nurse recruitment to provide care for homebound patients; while 59% said patients need more help to self-care; and 53% think greater provision of mental health workers in the community is needed.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA GP committee chair, said: “Many practices are being overwhelmed by rising patient demand, contracting budgets and staff shortages which has left them unable to deliver enough appointments and the specialist care many patients need … We need an urgent expansion of the workforce in both practices and community-based teams.”
The Institute of Employment Rights (IER) argues that public funding for the NHS and other services is being drained by the government’s approach to rebalancing the economy. While austerity cuts reduce funding to these vital services, attacks on employment law are trapping people in low wages that must be subsidised through the welfare state. Upward pressure on wages through wider collective bargaining at both sectoral and enterprise level would reduce this burden on the state and free up further funds for the NHS and other public services.
This is just one of the arguments put forth in the IER’s Manifesto for Labour Law – 25 policy recommendations adopted by the Labour Party. Click here to read a summary of our proposals and purchase your copy.