Following a recent sharp rise in incidents of abuse and aggression directed towards GP practices, a video has been launched today (Wednesday 8 December) capturing a day in the life of a local GP to help people understand the daily pressures faced by those working in primary care.
The video features Dr Nick Bird from Haworth Medical Practice who has teamed up with Act as One – the health and care partnership for Bradford District and Craven – to challenge some of the misconceptions people may have. It also serves as a reminder that GP practices have remained open throughout the pandemic and the skilled care teams working in these practices are now seeing more people than pre-pandemic.
Dr Nick Bird, GP at Haworth Medical Practice, part of the Modality Partnership, said: “When I was approached by Act as One to do ‘a day in the life of a GP’, I really wanted to get involved as I know that many people have preconceived ideas that often suggest that GPs are no longer helping people. The video clip gives people a sneak peek of what a typical day can be like for a GP. We want to challenge this misconception of GPs and other healthcare staff and non-healthcare staff working in GP practices especially this notion held by a small number of people that we have not been doing anything since the pandemic started. I like many other GPs, not just in Bradford District and Craven but up and down the country, are finding this distressing and this is an unfair portrayal of just how key we have been throughout the pandemic.
“When watching back the video, I thought to myself ‘what a day’, however it has been like this since the pandemic started in 2020 and this isn’t just for GPs but nurses, healthcare assistants and non-medical staff too such as our hardworking reception staff. It feels relentless and non-stop, doing 12+ hour days seem to be the norm.
“We put patients at the heart of everything we do and have been delivering patient care when we had the first lockdown in March 2020. How we deliver patient care has changed, this is to protect you and our staff from Covid. Depending on the patient’s clinical need, we will work with you to decide if you need to come to the practice or if your condition can be dealt with in other ways such as by telephone or a video consultation. If you do come to the practice you may not need to see the doctor but another healthcare professional, like a nurse who will be able to help you.
“We will look to deliver the best care for you, this may mean we ask you to go to your local pharmacy for your condition or to self-care at home. Our staff are here to help you and we’re seeing an unprecedented demand on general practice, just like the rest of the NHS. Unfortunately, with this demand we’ve also seen a huge increase in abuse towards our staff. We’re working extremely hard for our patients, please be kind when you call and if they advise you on who you need to see for your condition, they’re doing this so that you’re not waiting for long periods for your treatment and receive the care you need.
“Please watch and share the video clip so that you can see for yourself that GPs and other practice staff are working hard, whilst we’re still in a pandemic.”
Dr James Thomas, Clinical Chair at NHS Bradford District and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The video clip done by Dr Nick Bird gives you an insight of how busy general practice is. We’re still seeing patients face-to-face depending on their clinical need and we have increased appointments where we can, however demand has also increased significantly. GPs are doing what they were pre-pandemic like home visits but now we have to factor in Covid and the risks that it brings not only for patients but also our staff. Many of us have small teams so if just one or two people contract Covid this has a significant impact on what a GP practice can offer.”
“There has been lots of unkind commentary developing leading to quite vile abuse directed towards people working in GP practices, it’s time we stop this cycle of misinformation. Please do watch this video to understand how hard general practice is working.”