Pulse May 2019 issue - Page 4

All you need to know 4 1 GPs see a third more patients than they believe is safe GPs have around a third more patient contacts than they deem safe and work an average 11-hour shift in a day, Pulse’s seminal workload survey has revealed. The survey of almost 1,700 GPs revealed those scheduled to work a full clinical day on Monday 11 February had an average of 41 patient contacts – but respondents said 30 was the safe limit. Most said their workload was ‘typical’ on the day of the snapshot survey. On average, 29% of patients were ‘high complexity’. More than half said their workload that day was above safe levels. It followed a BMA report that found 90% of GPs were at ‘high risk’ of burnout. • GPs working beyond safe levels, page 6 2 Networks ‘should include’ optometrists and dental providers NHS England has said primary care networks ‘should include’ community pharmacies, optometrists and dental providers, in a document answering frequently asked questions about the new contract. In a separate document, it revealed primary care networks – which will cover 30,000 to 50,000 patients – will need to work with non-GP providers as ‘a requirement’ from 2020 as part of the Network DES, which will provide much of the funding for general practice. Meanwhile, the Modality and Our Health Partnership superpractices are proposing to take on leadership roles in a number of primary care networks, including providing back-office support and being a ‘custodian of funds’. Pulse May 2019 The big question 3 Dr Hadiza Bawa- Garba cleared to return to practice The GMC’s Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service has ruled that Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba – the paediatric trainee involved in the death of a six-year-old boy – may return to practice from July, subject to supervision for the first 24 months. The MPTS said Dr Bawa-Garba’s lack of face-to-face patient contact during her suspension would be addressed by a ‘period of conditional registration’. The Doctors’ Association UK chair Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden said it was ‘the right outcome’ to a ‘desperately sad case’ and would help address the ‘climate of fear and blame in the NHS’. • The legacy of a truly tragic case, page 18 4 NICE hypertension guidance will hit GP workload, BMA says NICE’s new draft hypertension guideline, reducing the threshold for considering drug treatment in patients at risk of CVD, will increase pressure on GPs, the BMA has warned. NICE recommends treatment for stage one hypertension patients under 80 with an estimated 10-year risk of CVD of 10% or more; the previous threshold was 20%. The BMA’s GP Committee said: ‘We are concerned about the impact of these recommendations on workload.’ It added that the evidence for individual benefit in stage 1 hypertension was ‘not robust’. 5 RCGP withdraws Sultan of Brunei’s honorary title The RCGP has confirmed it will revoke the honorary title it gave to the Sultan of Brunei, following pressure from grassroots GPs. A petition started by GP trainee Dr Hollie Rolland called for the removal of the ‘Companion of the College’ title after the country made gay sex punishable by death. RCGP chair Helen Stokes-Lampard said: ‘Our honour was given in good faith but recent events in Brunei have left us with no choice but to take action.’ Will record trainee numbers ease the workforce crisis? Health Education England has announced a record fi ll rate of 2,598 for the fi rst round of GP trainee recruitment this year. But are the fi gures trainees really the ‘excellent news’ the RCGP has proclaimed it to be? GPs have learned to take any fi gure or target purporting to boost their numbers with a large pinch of salt, and NHS England medical director for primary care Dr Nikita Kanani has warned higher numbers of trainees don’t necessarily translate into more GPs. Dr Kanani cited a King’s Fund report saying only one in three trainees ends up as a full-time equivalent GP, and pointed to ‘working conditions’ over the past 10-15 years as a reason for the poor conversion rate. The number of this intake ending up as full-time GPs will surely be the litmus test for the new contract in England. Your comments • ‘Many new GPs elect to be locums so they can walk away from the stress.’ • ‘Recruitment is one thing, retention another.’ • ‘How about making conditions good enough for the next 10 or 15 years?’ #GPnews what’s hot online Mice guidelines ‘Muesli can help fight arthritis.’ This and other major research announcements feature on a new Twitter account that has attracted almost 50,ooo followers since it launched last month. The raison d’être of James Heathers’ @justsayinmice is to remind journalists to add the words ‘in mice’ to sensational headlines such as ‘Ketamine may relieve depression’. Still, if they forget, help is at hand, since ‘Garlic can help prevent memory loss’. But only for mouse journalists. No shrinking violet Matt Hancock has received a special floral tribute from the Women’s Equality Party. Sadly for him, it’s not in support of his potential bid to be prime