Today, the Nuffield Trust have announced that there has been a sustained fall in the number of family GP’s in England.
A study conducted by the Nuffield Trust for the BBC looks at both the decline in GP’s and the reason behind this. The analysis also revealed that patient groups were struggling to make appointments with the strained shortage of GP’s.
The Nuffield Trust stated that one of the key reasons for this, is the number of GP’s starting out in the profession was not measuring up to the number of GP’s whom are leaving.
In 2014, there were 65 GP’s to every 100,000 patients. However, in 2018 this number went down to only 60 GP’s to every 100,000. It has been suggested that this fall could be due to the increased strain and workload that GP’s are currently facing.
This shortage has also had an effect on current GP’s whom are struggling to provide a safe and satisfactory service with the high numbers of patients they see on a daily basis.
Whilst this decline is seen in England, there has also been a decline in Wales and Scotland. However, Northern Ireland has seen a rise in GP’s.
Over the next five years…
NHS England have confirmed that they will be recruiting 20,000 specialist healthcare professionals over the next five years to work alongside GP’s which will help aid GP’s excessive workload. This will include physiotherapists, pharmacists and paramedics.
Quite often, people believe they should be going to the GP but in fact a pharmacist may be able to help with the issue which will free appointments for others.
What PCA are doing to work with Healthcare Professionals
We believe that allied healthcare professionals play an important role in aiding early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, or any cancer. It is important that people feel comfortable talking about their symptoms with a healthcare professional. Therefore, we encourage patients to talk to their local pharmacist if they are concerned about any symptoms.
Pharmacies provide an informal and relaxed setting for people to discuss difficult issues. They are also available for private consultations without the extremely long appointment waiting time of a GP.
PCA provide free pancreatic cancer resource materials for healthcare professionals as well as e-learning modules for GP’s, pharmacists and pharmacy teams to ensure that they are well placed to identify the symptoms of pancreatic cancer.
The resources equip healthcare professionals with the knowledge they need to be able to spot the early signs and symptoms of the disease and are designed not to take up hours of their time.