Staffing: the biggest challenge
The first sustained fall in UK GP numbers in the NHS for 50 years has been recorded (Triggle, 2019). This sustained drop in GP numbers will have an impact on patients and those nurses and other healthcare staff working in GP surgeries. In England, there is one GP for every 2160 patients, which is an increase of 8% in 3 years (Gerslick and Fisher, 2019). This is the first time since the 1960s that GP numbers have fallen. Those living in less affluent areas have seen their GP workforce shrink by 50%. These areas often include patients with the most complex needs.
The Health Foundation report that, on average, a GP working in the most deprived boroughs is responsible for 370 more patients than those in the most affluent boroughs (Gerslick and Fisher, 2019).
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