ITV News Central cameras have filmed a day in the life of a GP practice in Leicester.
We’ve heard from doctors who described how difficult it is providing care that patients need and deserve. They also told us that this is the most difficult and desperate time they’ve ever experienced.
For patients, it’s equally frustrating.
Lee Holt said he rang the Oakmeadow Surgery at New Parks in Leicester 200 times a day for three weeks just to get an appointment for his two-year-old son.
He said he was relieved when he was finally able to see his GP face-to-face.
Neil Harris spent five days trying to get through to the practice. He said he decided to walk to the surgery and wait. Fortunately for him, he managed to see a doctor.
It’s equally frustrating for GPs who are working 50 to 60 hours a week flat out to cope withthe demand. Dr Rikesh Inamdar said it’s hectic from the moment he arrives to the moment he leaves.
Dr Inamdar :“It’s extremely tiring, by the time I get home I can’t do anything else. Thework is increasing, the pressure is increasing and it’s exhausting doing the same job day inday out”
But as well as seeing and speaking to patients on the phone, looking at the results of bloodtests and making sure that all the admin is up to date, GPs and their colleagues face threats of violence and intimidation.
Last month a patient smashed tables and chairs at a surgery in Derby. Staff there have been forced to hit the panic button four times in recent weeks.
At Oakmeadow surgery, they too have been targeted. There have been verbal and physicalattacks and Dr Inamdar told me it takes a long time for staff to recover from acts ofvandalism.
Such incidents are not happening on a daily basis and many patients are in-fact grateful to everyone at the practice. Even while we were filming, someone came in to drop off a thank you card.
Dr Inamdar had a huge smile on his face as he read the heartfelt message.He said while some people complain, there is an equal number of patients who deeply appreciate the service and care they receive.