Responding to NHS Digital’s Appointments in General Practice data for September 2020, Dr Graham Jackson, Senior Clinical Advisor at the NHS Confederation, said:
“GPs have been part of the frontline throughout the pandemic, with data showing they have continued to provide care while transforming the way they work to deliver services in new ways. Despite the pandemic, primary care has delivered for people who needed it in September, carrying out more appointments than the same month a year ago. This reflects the increased workload in primary care, including an increase in face-to-face appointments.
“Clinical directors at Primary Care Networks are telling us their teams are overwhelmed, anxious and burned out as workload has climbed and are having to cope with high staff absence rates, all while trying to adopt new models of delivering care.
“There has tended to be more focus on hospital services treating COVID-19 patients, however all parts of the NHS are under pressure. Primary care needs more national support and recognition. Primary Care Networks should be given more flexibility to best respond to the needs of the communities they serve whilst still meeting the contract specifications.”