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GP shortages cause 'unacceptable' patient waits


Family doctors are under intense pressure and general practice is running on empty, warns the Royal College of GPs (RCGP). It says severe staff shortages are causing "unacceptable" delays for patients in England.

In a letter to Health Secretary Matt Hancock, its chairman says ministers must take urgent action to deal with the lack of GPs.

The government said it had recruited a "record number" of GP trainees. Ministers are committed to recruiting 6,000 more GPs in England by 2025.

Prof Martin Marshall, who took over as RCGP chairman in November, says GPs are struggling with an escalating workload, which is causing many to burn out and leave the profession.

Dr Andrew Dharman, who works at the The Avenue surgery in Ealing, said the stress has got worse because of the enormous workload placed on GPs. He said: "Sometimes it feels like you're drowning. You know you're trying to stay afloat and on top of all the workload. And you're trying to make sure you're providing the kind of care that you envisage when you go to medical school."

"You feel frustrated sometimes that you can't necessarily do that because of the amount of work and patients."

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Source: BBC News, 9 January 2020

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