Latest figures reveal that the condition of primary care buildings and infrastructure risk putting patients in danger.
The NHS Confederation released a report showing that over one in five general practices and primary care premises in England are not fit for purpose.
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‘We’re working in a 1950s tin roof health centre, our ability to meet patient expectations is impossible unless significant investment in infrastructure is made’, said a primary care clinical director and NHS Confederation member.
‘It is like promising the public a safe, effective, modern car and when they go to collect it, they find a 1970s Ford Escort, with rusting roof, wheezy engine, designed to take four people, but being required to carry 10, and with no one to service it or drive it.’
In a survey the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) found that 74% of respondents felt their practice did not have sufficient physical space necessary to accommodate new staff.
This has put primary care providers in a difficult position of needing more staff to help with increasing workload but being unable to accommodate them due to poor infrastructure.
‘I have stopped recruiting because I have nowhere to put anymore staff’ said a GP from Hertfordshire.
The lack of basic IT equipment and cramped, rundown buildings is effecting the ability of staff to look after patients properly.
The RCGP revealed that one of the biggest complaints they receive is that patients struggle to get into contact with their GP, this is due to poor booking systems in place.
Primary Care leaders are calling for more of an investment into primary care infrastructure.
‘A real lack of investment in primary care capital over the last decade means that rundown buildings and antiquated technology has left primary care leaders despairing of how to recruit the additional staff they so desperately need’ said Ruth Rankine, director of primary care at the NHS Confederation.