Take more care of yourself

Research from Aviva examining GPs’ views on medical issues, patient care and reform has revealed concern about the lack of responsibility patients take for their own health.
Aviva’s bi-annual Health of the Nation study revealed that GPs spend nearly three quarters of their time (74%) with patients. However, one in four (23%) say that only around a quarter of this time is spent dealing with medical issues that require a GP’s attention. Most GPs (93%) say that they spend up to a quarter of their time dealing with medical issues that a practice nurse could address. 88% of GPs say that a similar amount of time is spent dealing with minor medical issues that don’t even need to be seen by a GP or nurse.

Moreover, Aviva’s research reveals that nearly half of GPs (48%) feel that a significant amount of their time is spent dealing with patients who do not look after themselves. Over three quarters (78%) are concerned that their patients have unrealistic expectations in relation to their own health and the support available from their GP.

The top things that GPs feel would improve patients’ experience of the health service are:

* Longer appointments (76%)
* Faster diagnostic services (63%)
* Shorter waiting lists (48%)
* Improvements in the quality of clinical care (45%)

Nearly half (46%) of GPs believe that better health education (for individuals and employers) will improve the individual’s experience of the health service.

Aviva’s Health of the Nation research reveals that nearly eight in ten (79%) GPs believe that they don’t have enough time to spend with their patients. Worryingly over half (56%) feel that taking part in commissioning of NHS services will shift their focus from patient care onto administration. Similarly, 48% feel that they will find it harder to devote time to their patients.

The bi-annual study canvassed the views of over 200 GPs on issues relating to their working practice and patient care. www.aviva.co.uk/healthofthenation

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