Nurses, practice managers and GPs believe the quality of care has worsened over the past 18 months, a survey has revealed.
The 2014 Primary Concerns report, carried out by Management/Nursing in Practice publishers Cogora, found that 63% of respondents believed care had deteriorated in the previous 18 months, compared to 35% of respondents to Primary Concerns 2013.
The survey of 1,171 GPs, nurses and practice managers also showed a "lack of engagement" with clinical commissioning and many do not believe CCG decisions are reflective of their views.
Healthcare professionals were also opposed to a number of government proposals, including:
- Naming GPs who fail to refer suspected cancer patients to hospital.
- 'Special measures' for practices who underperform according to the Care Quality Commission.
- Half of the GPs who took part in the survey believe that co-location of GP facilities in hospital A&E departments would be the "final straw" for general practitioners.
For the second year in a row, the Primary Concerns report further describes a widespread morale problem among primary healthcare workers.
In addition to factors related to the NHS such as bureaucracy, low salaries, and poor management, healthcare professionals also cited undeserved criticism from politicians and the media and unrealistic patient demand as reasons for their low morale.
“The fact that the majority of the respondents believe that care has worsened in the last 18 months is truly shocking and upsetting for both professionals and patients,” said Cogora’s Primary Care Editor-in-Chief, Victoria Vaughan.
“General practices are facing unprecedented pressures from all angles and it is clearly making it difficult for them to carry out their chief function which is to care for patients.”