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Eight in ten GP practices unfit for 'future needs', British Medical Association warns

Survey finds that half of GPs do not believe their practices are suitable for their present needs, with almost 80% saying they are unsuitable for future needs.

Richard Vautrey

Source: BMA

Richard Vautrey, GP committee chair for the BMA, urged the government to “urgently invest … to bring facilities up to 21st century standards”

Nearly eight in ten GP practices are not fit for future needs, such as accommodating larger teams of healthcare professionals including pharmacists, the British Medical Association (BMA) has warned.

A BMA survey of 1,011 GPs and practice managers revealed that only half said their practices were suitable for present needs, while 78% said they would not be suitable for future needs.

The survey comes after the new GP contract agreed by NHS England and the BMA allocated £38,000 to primary care networks of GP practices to hire one pharmacist each in 2019/2020, with plans to hire at least five each by 2024.

But Richard Vautrey, GP committee chair for the BMA, said that “for patients to benefit from this expanded team, they too will require space to work”.

He continued: “Without more space and the ability to add rooms and facilities easily, patients will continue to face long waits for appointments, as GPs and their wider practice staff can only work with what they have.”

Tracey Rymer, practice manager at Byfield Medical Centre in Northamptonshire, said her practice “does not have enough room” to share resources with other healthcare professionals.

“We are constantly having to juggle rooms to accommodate our staff,” she said. “Our dispensary is unable to take advantage of cheaper bulk ordering as we don’t have enough storage space.”

Vautrey called on the government to “use next month’s spending review to urgently invest in practice premises — as well as wider NHS infrastructure — to bring facilities up to 21st century standards”.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20206191

Readers' comments (2)

  • I concur - as a pharmacist brought into work in General Practice in reality desk space, access to a computer, printer and phone never mind a suitable space to perform face to face medication consultations is often inconsistent at can be very poor.

    Where these basic enviromental needs are not met some practices core work processes including script issuing and drug monitoring have become inefficient, at times unsafe.

    True medication review involving the patient to optimise their medications, tackling their "non compliance" never mind being sufficiently patient centered to help change this through patient engagement, deprescribing and supporting medication reduction programs is lacking.

    In these circumstances the impact an individual and new team member can have to improve this can be constrained significantly. I believe I and many more professionals added to the primary care workforce now a d as the long tem plan for
    Remember maslows needs professional can be considerable.

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  • I believe I and many more professionals added to the primary care workforce now and as described in the the long term plan need the basics.
    Remember maslows needs... without these being met the impact on any professional can be considerable and as a whole primary care health system there is a significant risk desired outcomes will not be seen without investment in basic infrastructure.

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