The Commonwealth Fund surveyed 13,200 primary care physicians across 11 countries between January and June 2019. This included 1,001 general practitioners (GPs) from the UK. The Health Foundation analysed the data and reports on the findings from a UK perspective.
In some aspects of care, the UK performs strongly and is an international leader. Almost all UK GPs surveyed use electronic medical records and use of data to review and improve care is relatively high.
The survey also highlights areas of major concern for the NHS. Just 6% of UK GPs report feeling ‘extremely’ or ‘very satisfied’ with their workload – the lowest of any country surveyed. Only France has lower overall GP satisfaction with practising medicine. GPs in the UK also report high stress levels and feel that the quality of care that they and the wider NHS can provide is declining.
A high proportion of surveyed UK GPs plan to quit or reduce their working hours in the near future. 49% of UK GP respondents plan to reduce their weekly clinical hours in the next 3 years (compared to 10% who plan to increase them).
UK GPs continue to report shorter appointment lengths than the majority of their international colleagues. Just 5% of UK GPs surveyed feel ‘extremely’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the amount of time they can spend with their patients, significantly lower than the satisfaction reported by GPs in the other 10 countries surveyed.
Workload pressures are growing across general practice, and UK GPs report that they are doing more of all types of patient consultations (including face-to-face, telephone triage and telephone consulting). Policymakers expect GPs to be offering video and email consultations to patients who want them in the near future but the survey suggests that this is currently a long way from happening. Only 11% of UK GPs report that their surgeries provide care through video consultation.
Increased use of telephone and video consultations is expected during the current COVID-19 situation.
In this video, the AccuRX (https://www.accurx.com/) system is being used. The system and process used by other practices may vary.
A link to this video can be sent to a patient's phone by the surgery when a video appointment is booked so that they can prepare themselves for their video consultation.
This guidance is produced during the COVID-19 outbreak in order to support the care in the community of patients and those important to them, at the end of their lives or who are unwell as the result of COVID-19 or other life-limiting illnesses.
This document will be updated and adapted as further contributions are received and in line with changing national guidance. The most current version of the guidance document will be available on the public-facing pages of the RCGP COVID-19 Resource Hub and Association for Palliative Medicine website.
Please check that you are referring to the most current version.