Doc shortages predicted, doc shortages delivered:
Large numbers of senior doctors are retiring early while surgeries are finding it hard to tempt medicine graduates to be family doctors, they say.
The result is a looming crisis at a time Britain needs more GPs than ever to care for its ageing population.
Pulse magazine found the GP vacancy rate had risen from 4.2 per cent in 2011 to 7.9 per cent this January. The official GP vacancy rate was 2.1 per cent at the start of 2011.
In addition, GP surgeries are spending almost 20 per cent more on locums than two years ago because they cannot fill their posts with permanent staff.
Professor Bill Irish, chair of the GP National Recruitment Office, told Pulse: “Every piece of workforce data out there shows we are under-recruiting to general practice and workload is rapidly becoming more and more unsustainable so there is absolutely a workforce crisis.”
An “unsustainable” “crisis”! Can’t wait!
Robert Francis QC said that healthcare workers should not wait for Government recommendations to implement a change of attitudes towards care in the health service.
Mr Francis’s report into Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust highlighted the “appalling and unnecessary suffering of hundreds of people” between 2005 and 2009.
Mr Francis said the “first and foremost” thing that healthcare workers could do was to listen to those who have complaints because “there is almost always something you can do about it”.
He also reiterated some of his recommendations, including his call for a registration database for healthcare support workers, saying: “Isn’t it odd that the security guard at the door of the hospital, the driver of the minicab who takes you there, have more regulation attached to them and more sanction available to their supervision than does the support worker who is cleaning the bottom of your grandmother?
“We have to have a system where those who are unfit for the job are excluded from doing so.”
So, Britain needs more nurses who give a [bleep], and more doctors, period. Otherwise, the NHS is the gold standard.
Their system is often referred to as “single payer”. But the one who pays is the patient, through the nose. So soon shall we.