The pressure on NHS GPs in the UK grows by the day. Constant medical innovation, as well as many people inventing symptoms of illness they may or may not have is causing further pressure. GPs are expected to fix minor ailments, spot major health issues, send patients for treatment of all manner of ills, manage mental health issues, contraception, family planning, provide character witness signatures and much much more. As the pace of medical technological development moves faster than ever before, they also have to spend more time than ever researching and keeping abreast of the new services available to use, and even more time studying which ones the NHS can and cannot afford to offer. They then need to be aware o the finances of their own practice and what private services are available to patients that want to seek services they cannot get on the NHS.
It’s no wonder that GPs are suffering from stress and often seek the help of a psychiatrist of their own. It is also little wonder that the largest reason for doctors to miss work is due to alcoholism as they become increasingly unable to manage the high expectations and workload placed on their human shoulders. There is very little support for doctors that are under pressure, and when they make a mistake they are usually the first to be suspended and find their license to practice medicine is under threat. This only adds to the need for a strong doctors’ support group that can protect the mental well being of doctors under siege from a society that expects everything for free and sues on one occasion where they push the doctor past breaking point.
Not enough time to chat and diagnose
GPs have a lot of needs to handle and patient targets leave very little time for chatting. You may assume that rather than sending out individuals a signposting brochure, GPs should test people who keep using their services inappropriately. It’s difficult to recognize just what constitutes as unacceptable participation. People typically involve my surgery with relationship issues, work-related tension, teen angst, misery at school: all manner of issues that affect their wellness, as opposed to a designated ailment.
One thing to help GPs would be to stop other companies passing their work with to NHS: schools that can’t manage rowdy kids who inform the parents to head to the GP to obtain them examined for ADHD; businesses whose bad employment methods allow office bullying to grow; and the biggest threat of all – exclusive physicians who suggest medicines or therapies that are not typically offered on the NHS due to the fact that they’re cost-efficient or not evidence-based.
It is quite taxing to have a good discussion with an expectant person approximately utilitarianism in health care versus the rights of the individual. But which masochistic GP is merely visiting state no, simply to check out the upset reaction online.
GPs have even more to do.
People now live much longer than even a generation ago, have more complex diseases and conditions and spend less time in medical care than ever before. GPs have to coordinate their treatment in the community – a huge task, and often thankless. With the increasing pace of the modern world comes a huge rise in the types of mental health issues related to stress and exhaustion. Mental health is one of the poorest funded areas of medicine in the UK, with fewer and fewer doctors wanting to specialise in psychiatry due to high workload, poorer pay than other areas of medicine and the lack of enough supporting research. Because NHS psychiatric help is so overstretched, many doctors practice private psychiatry. An experienced, respected London psychiatrist with a good reputation for mental health service provision can expect a long waiting list in the private sector.
Whilst many people fear self-diagnosis by using Google to research symptoms, it is one way the UK public can help remove the time and financial pressures on doctors and support the NHS in remaining a free service to all. Using google to search symptoms might also help people find alternative treatments that they can access themselves – through a pharmacist or holistic healer, herbal medicine or changes to their exercise or diet routines. People can try this and see if symptoms persist before approaching a GP. This is why many organisations including the NHS have created innovative online directories of symptoms which they aim to show up on the first page of Google when people put their symptoms into a Google search box.