Majority of GPs voice their support for a limit on consultations

Eight in ten GPs polled by a leading news site have suggested they would favour a cap on the number of patient consultations they can carry out in a day.

In total, 81 per cent of the practitioners questioned by GP Online indicated they backed some form of limit on the volume of appointments they could deal with in the space of a single day.

Concerns have been raised that the majority of family doctors in the UK are seeing well in excess of 25 patients a day – the number of face-to-face consultations which previously has been floated as an appropriate amount.

Indeed, around a fifth of GPs have previously suggested that they are dealing with more than 40 patients on a typical day.

This is a number being pushed upwards by a growing population and people tending to consult their GP more often. Amid concerns about rising pressures, it appears that many in primary care now support a stricter limit on their daily workload.

Following the results of the survey, the site has looked into whether this sort of arrangement could be successfully adopted in general practice.

One GP said: “A cap would not be functional for GPs who work well at a fast pace, but a realistic balance needs to be sought to allow the time spent with patients to be valuable. GP workload is a significant concern, with paperwork seeming to be the main problem.”

Other practitioners have suggested that seeing patients is only one part of daily pressures, with HR, prescriptions, home visits and referral letters among the other challenges.

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