National Association for Patient Participation

GP breaks posters hitting surgeries now

05 April 2016

We’re sending out posters to put up in GP surgeries explaining why GPs need to take regular breaks.

The posters highlight why GPs need breaks, comparing the workload of a GP and the importance of being well-rested, to the same situation for train drivers, pilots and lorry drivers; all of whom have legal limits on how long they can work.

In a cover letter to GPs, RCGP Chair Maureen Baker said: "I firmly believe GP fatigue is currently the biggest threat to patient safety that we face – to put it simply, a rested GP is a safer GP. We have designed the poster in consultation with GPs and patient representatives and hope that it is an effective way to get the messages across.

Our members have consistently highlighted concerns about the effect overtiredness can have on GPs. It is therefore more important than ever before to ensure GPs and all the other hard working practice staff take steps to protect their wellbeing, such as taking regular breaks throughout the day."

The posters talk about the number of consultations GPs have per day (up to 40-60) and the one million consultations that happen across the UK every day.

What can you do?

If you are a member of a patient group or work in a GP surgery and would like to order a copy of the poster, please email campaigns@rcgp.org.uk .

If you’re based in England and worried about GP workload and safety, please take our campaign action asking for the public accounts committee’s recommendations on under-staffing to be implemented.

Or if you’re in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, help us make general practice one of the key issues of the next election by writing to your local newspaper about GP shortages and the Put Patients First campaign or asking questions at local hustings events.

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