The length of GP consultations is too short for many people with complex health needs because doctors are “ridiculously overworked”, according to the Royal College of GPs.
The average consultation length of 10 minutes in the UK – thought to be the shortest in the developed world – was “crazy” said the RCGP president, Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard.
Simple health problems could be dealt with in 10 minutes, but for people with complex health needs it was inadequate and GPs had to practise “demand management”, she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“It is a crazy situation. GPs are ridiculously overworked and there are too few of us – the situation is on the brink.”
Research by the charity the Health Foundation – based on polling of GPs from 11 countries, including Germany, France, Australia and the US – has suggested the amount of time GPs spend with patients in the UK is the lowest in the developed world.
The data showed 92% of consultations in the UK were completed in under 15 minutes, compared with 27% in other countries.