GPs waste time dealing with non-medical issues

Research from Aviva examining GPs’ views on medical issues, patient care and reform has revealed concern about the lack of responsibility patients take for their own health.

Aviva’s bi-annual Health of the Nation study reveals that GPs spend nearly three quarters of their time with patients. However, one in four say that only around a quarter of this time is spent dealing with medical issues that require a GP’s attention.

Most GPs say that they spend up to a quarter of their time dealing with medical issues that a practice nurse could address. 88% say that a similar amount of time is spent dealing with minor medical issues that d do not need to be seen by a GP or nurse.

48% feel that a significant amount of their time is spent dealing with patients who do not look after themselves. 78% are concerned that their patients have unrealistic expectations in relation to their own health and the support available from their GP.

Even when the GP is the most appropriate person to help, the research reveals that they still have difficulties making referrals in many cases. 42% of GPs are unable to refer patients for some treatments because they are not available to them in their area. This is particularly true in the case of complex medical conditions such as work related stress, chronic fatigue syndrome, eating disorders and food allergies.

The top things that GPs feel would improve patients’ experience of the health service are:

  • Longer appointments
  • Faster diagnostic services
  • Shorter waiting lists
  • Improvements in the quality of clinical care
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GPs waste time dealing with non-medical issues
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