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Monday 24th October 2016

GPs take more time with patients

31st July 2007

New research has shown that GPs in England take nearly 40% more time with their patients than in 1992/93.


The Information Centre for Health and Social Care has released information which reveals that GPs' consultations took an average of 11.7 minutes in 2006/07 - a rise from 8.4 minutes.

Dr Laurence Buckman, chairman of the BMA's GPs committee, commented on the new information, saying there had been considerable changes to the ways in which GPs work since 1992/93.

Dr Buckman said he though it was hard to compare the figures because of the changes, but conceded: "What has changed is the way we work. Intensity has rocketed."

"The quality and complexity of GP care has altered out of all recognition from the consultations of 14 years ago and GPs are much more closely scrutinised to ensure that this quality is maintained."

The latest information shows a rise in the amount of consultations performed by GP practises - from 220.1m in 1995 to 289.8m in 2006 - but a decrease in the number of home visits.

More consultations are performed by nurses, rising from 1 in 5 in 1995 to 1 in 3 in 2006. Telephone consultations have also increased from 3% to 10%.

The figures show that GPs work a similar amount of hours in-surgery as in 1992/93, although - following the introduction of the new GP contract in 2004 - there has been a drop in the number of GPs working outside normal surgery hours.

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