Sheffield GPs break down in tears over increased pressure and 'brutal' workload in hard-hitting video
Sheffield GPs have spoken out about their growing workloads and a barrage of ‘soul destroying’ criticism in a moving video.
GPs have been criticised by the national press for holding too many virtual appointments with patients, even though almost 60 per cent this year have been face to face.
Additionally, between 2018 and 2021 the number of appointments per full time GP rose by over 23 percent, and now GPs feel they are at a breaking point.
Dr Alison Hobbs, a GP at Pitsmoor Surgery, said in the video: “We’re getting portrayed that we are being lazy and that we don’t want to see people. I became a doctor to see people, I didn’t become a doctor to work in a call centre.
"When you know that you’re coming in and putting in a ten, 11, 12 hour day, working as hard as you can, and then to go home and see newspaper comments saying that we’re not doing anything and we’re lazy, that’s very soul destroying.
"I have never worked as hard in 20 years as I have in the last 12 months. There are days when you know that you just have to keep going but you just wonder how you are going to get up the next day and carry on.”
Videographer George MacCallum visited Sheffield to speak to GPs about the recent Beat the Street game and its impact on helping the local population with improving physical and mental health.
But he was so moved by what the GPs were saying about their workload and current pressure, that he made the video to highlight the issue as well.
This year, each GP will see 552 patients face to face on average, and hundreds more virtually. 34 percent of GPs expect to leave the profession within five years largely due to stress and burnout.
Dr Charlotte Bryson, a GP at Burngreave surgery, said in the video: "The workload is brutal, there’s just this absolutely unmeetable demand now. It’s just so demoralising at the moment. The job is so hard. We are human beings, we’re not machines.”
Around 51 percent of GPs experienced verbal abuse first hand in 2021 and 67 per cent say that the abuse has gotten worse over the last year.
Dr Liz Martinez, also a GP at Burngreave, said: “I think my colleagues on reception in many ways have a terrible time of it because they get the angry patients every day. This morning there was someone yelling and threatening us even before we’d come into the surgery.
"The government promised us 5,000 new GPs and in fact there are 1,300 less. Were general practice primary care to fail the whole NHS would come crumbling down really fast.”