Top GP says traditional ten-minute appointments are too short to treat patients effectively and wants 15 mins instead

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Top GP says traditional ten-minute appointments are too short to treat patients effectively and wants 15 mins instead



TEN minute GP appointments should be scrapped, claims England’s top family doctor.
Patients should instead get at least 15 minutes to talk through their problems, according to report on the future of general practice.
PA:Press Association Prof Stokes-Lampard says 15-minute consultations must be the norm by 2030
Medical leaders say current consultation slots are “unfit for purpose” with growing numbers of Brits struggling with several long-term conditions.
They warn it is impossible to treat most cases safely and effectively in that time.
Family doctors now discuss two and a half health issues on average during an appointment.
But the UK has some of the shortest GP consultations in the developed world at just 9.2 minutes.
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said 15 minutes must be the norm by 2030.
She said: “It is abundantly clear that the standard 10-minute appointment is unfit for purpose.
“It’s increasingly rare for a patient to present with a just single health condition, and we cannot deal with this adequately in 10 minutes.
“NHS bodies across the UK do not stipulate how long GP appointments should be, but GP workload is soaring, GP numbers are falling, and patients are already waiting too long to secure an appointment as a result.”
Two in three family medics say insufficient appointment time affected the quality of treatment at least once a month.
GPs see more than a million patients daily – with demand up 16 per cent over seven years.
Patients are increasingly living with complex health needs, and with long waits for appointments due to the intense pressures facing general practice, patients often attend with several things they want to discussProfessor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the royal college of GPs
But numbers working in the NHS have dipped in the past decade.
It has made it harder than ever to see a family medic, with one in ten patients being forced to wait at least three weeks to see a GP.
The report calls for practices to get access to a “data dashboard” for every patient within a decade – that will include genetic profiling and info from digital devices such as Fitbits.
It also predicts surgeries will expand to include other health experts such as physios, pharmacists and dieticians.
Professor Stokes-Lampard added: “Ours is an ambitious vision but it is not a pipe dream.
“Realising it will depend on having a sufficiently resourced service to keep people well and provide them with the care they need around the clock.”
An NHS spokesperson said: “The NHS Long Term Plan means an extra £4.5 billion is being invested in primary and community care, alongside the recruitment of 20,000 physios, therapists and other health experts to offer patient more access to specialist care in GP teams, building on success in the last year alone which has seen GPs across the country free up an extra half a million hours of time for patients.”
Prof Stokes-Lampard added: “Patients are increasingly living with complex health needs, and with long waits for appointments due to the intense pressures facing general practice, patients often attend with several things they want to discuss.
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“GPs simply can’t cover everything that needs to be discussed safely, comprehensively and effectively in ten minutes.
“We need 15 minutes with our patients as standard – even for those who have what might look on the surface like very simple problems.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Last year a record 3,473 doctors were recruited into GP training and the new five year contract for general practice will see 20,000 more staff working in GP practices – helping free up doctors to spend more time with the patients who need them.”
Getty – Contributor Family doctors now discuss two and a half health issues on average during an appointment
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