Devon GP working 70 hour weeks 'wants to cry' over government's funding announcement

  • Watch: GP Joanna Harris' response to the funding announcement

A Devon GP who’s working 70 hour a week has said the government's announcement about new funding for surgeries has made her "want to cry."

The government has said GP's must start offering more in-person appointments after they fell significantly since the start of the pandemic. It has now made £250 million available to help surgeries take on more staff.

But for Joanna Harris, a GP in Crediton, this funding won't provide a solution.

At her practice, they have just recruited five more doctors and still can't get all the staff they need.

  • Watch Bob Cruwys' report

She said: "We love seeing patients. That's why we do this job.

"We've been really working as normal for the last three months, allowing patients to book face-to-face appointments anyway but the reality is there are only a certain number of GPs.

"When people are off sick or they're on leave, trying to get locums is absolutely impossible, money or no money. So we are all scratching our head a little bit about that announcement, wondering exactly what we are supposed to do with it."

The surgery in Crediton is brand new and has been designed with much wider range of services under one roof - such as rooms for phone and video calls with patients.

It is hoped this will prevent the main consulting rooms from being unnecessarily taken up.

Dr Peter Twomey works at the surgery and said: "We've got clinical pharmacists inside, we've got paramedics inside, we've got counsellors inside, we've got physiotherapists inside.

"We are working very closely now with the community team as well, including Hospiscare and OTs and district nursing teams. So, looking towards secondary care as well and community care - in that way we can grow services."