GP And Nursing Shortages Put Patients At Risk11th Jan 2016
The British Medical Association's warning is stark: many GP surgeries are at breaking point.
Last year more than 100 surgeries applied to NHS England to stop accepting new patients. They cannot cope with any more demand.
This is cause for great concern. Overworked GPs are more likely to make mistakes - leading to more claims for compensation.
The NHS’s problems are all too obvious.
Long hours and unpopular GP contracts have put doctors at loggerheads with the government. Some are retiring early because they have had enough (making life tougher for those who stay).
Surgeries are finding it harder to replace GPs. Some are having to offer bonuses up to £10,000 to attract new doctors.
Locum doctors are a stopgap solution but not ideal. The more often patients are handed from GP to another, the greater the chance of errors.
Continuity of care - so vital to ensure that doctors really know their patients - is being lost.
It’s the same story in hospitals where nursing shortages are worsening.
London alone has more than 10,000 nursing vacancies. Seventeen per cent of its nursing jobs are vacant (compared with 10 per cent nationally).
Fewer nurses. More pressure. Higher risk of clinical negligence.
Worried about how the NHS is treating you or a loved one? Get expert legal help. Contact the head of Coles Miller’s Clinical Negligence Department, Partner David Simpson, 01202 355695.