Why it's important to see the SAME GP trends now

Why it's important to see the SAME GP trends now
Why it's important to see the SAME GP trends now

Why it's important to see the SAME GP trends now

Patients at surgeries with a high turnover of GPs are more likely to need emergency hospital treatment than those with steady care, a study has found.

Family doctors with revolving staff were less likely to offer same day appointment or let patients see their preferred doctors.

Experts said the findings should serve as a 'wakeup call' for primary care and were particularly worrying given the number of practices with a high turnover has more than doubled in a decade.

Researchers at the University of Manchester studied an average of 7,526 practices each year from 2007 to 2019.

Family doctors with revolving staff were less likely to offer same day appointment or let patients see their preferred doctors

Family doctors with revolving staff were less likely to offer same day appointment or let patients see their preferred doctors

They found 'persistent high turnover' – defined as when more than 10 per cent of GPs changed in a practice in at least three consecutive years - was not uncommon.

It affected 2,309 of English practices – more than 28 per cent - at least once between 2009 and 2019.

Those with changing staff were found to have an average of 1.8 more emergency hospital attendances per 100 patients than those who kept the same doctors.

Researchers found 5.2 per cent fewer people saw their preferred doctor and 10.6 per cent fewer people reported getting an appointment on the same day.

Patients reported lower overall satisfaction with their practice, according to the findings published in the journal BMJ Quality and Safety.

Co-author Rosa Parisi said: 'This study is a wakeup call for primary care and for the first time gives us clarity on one of the major problems affecting it.

'We think high GP turnover is likely to affect continuity of care, and that might explain why avoidable emergency attendances are more likely to happen.

'Indeed we know from previous studies that continuity of care is deeply important to patients.'

The highest levels of 'persistent high turnover' were in Cumbria and the North East, South Central and the West Midlands.

Practices with 'persistent high turnover' also tended to be larger,

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