Moving the dispensary hatch to an external wall has helped to alleviate some demand pressure, says DDA member practice Witley Surgery in an article in BMA News.
Other measures taken by the practice include online triage and remote consulting.
However, with the nearest urgent care centre 30 minutes’ drive away, and secondary care delays, the workload at Witley Surgery has become out of control, says Dr Dave Triska speaking to the GP union.
He explains that ‘negativity’ among patients has increased and patients have become physically aggressive. The practice serves 11,000 patients, among the oldest in the UK, more than half of whom with long-term care needs. Typically, they still live independently, are well-educated and well-read.
Increased health anxiety since COVID and ‘uncontrolled transmission’ of winter viruses have also played their part in rising demand for GP services.
Dr Triska accepts that the problems they face are not unique to Witley village and he calls for more back-up, guidance and leadership for GPs. Innovation in the way primary care is delivered is vital, Dr Triska told BMA News, but that is impossible without rebuilding trust.