Health

The pressure on GPs in Devon is revealed by this rise in patient numbers

At least 11,500 new patients have registered with a GP in Devon this year, data from NHS digital has shown. There were at least 1,232,730 patients registered with doctors in Devon at the start of November 2018, according to the data. The figure is up from 1,221,304, showing an increase of about 11,426 within 12 months.

Devon’s health commissioner says the increase amounts to a rise of 0.94 percent.

According to Mark Procter, director of primary care for Devon’s CCGs, “Everyone in Devon can register at a practice with an open list and we are proud to have introduced a range of new initiatives to further improve access to GP services.

“For example, people in Devon can now access GP appointments 8am to 8pm on weekdays and have access to GP services on weekends and bank holidays, while an increasing number of people – currently more than half of the county – has access to a convenient online consultation from their practice via eConsult.

“All Devon’s GP practices are rated good or outstanding”

In 2015, the government said it planned to recruit extra 5,000 GPs to assist with the workload, but information received earlier this year indicated about 15.8 percent of GP posts are currently vacant nationwide.

According to Dr Richard Vautrey, GP committee chair of the British Medical Association, “Given that in recent years, GPs in many parts of England have been overwhelmed with workload pressures and have all too often struggled to do everything they would want to do for their patients, these figures provide further evidence of the escalating pressure on services.

“It’s therefore vital that a significant proportion of the additional £20bn promised for the NHS should be invested in general practice to help provide a fully sustainable service; one that can meet growing patient demand both now and in years to come.”

 

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