Patients set to suffer as primary care buckles

With GPs seemingly under fire from all sides – offered up as a diversionary punch-bag by some in the media while the government continues to underfund and mismanage the wider NHS – financial and recruitment issues in the primary care sector are putting patients’ health at risk. 

Practices across the UK are expected to see profits plummet by up to a third over the next 12 months, according to one recent survey. The medical accountants association AISMA told Pulse magazine that, largely because of rocketing energy costs, rising inflation was eating into many practices’ budgets, and many of them would be left with no alternative but to cut staff or, even worse, shut down and hand back their contracts with the NHS.

That scenario goes some way to explaining the current GP recruitment crisis which has led to a shortage of 4,200 full-time-equivalent doctors across England – a figure which could hit almost 11,000 within the next decade, according to the Health Foundation thinktank.

Full story in The Lowdown, 30 September 2022