GPs working for free to complete crucial patient follow-up - study shows

GPs working for free to complete crucial patient follow-up - study shows

In 2023, the College launched the ‘Your Work Counts’ project. We have been working behind the scenes since then, engaging our members and collecting data, and we would now like to share the results of this data with you. At the bottom of the email (and attached) is a copy of our embargoed media release.

The well-documented workforce shortages have meant that specialist GPs and rural hospital doctors are having to take on more work and work longer hours without additional resources, support and remuneration.  

To understand how widespread this issue is within our membership, the College developed the ‘Your Work Counts’ project to identify how much time is being spent on key tasks and addressing the unrecognised and often non-remunerated work that GPs put into caring for people throughout the course of their lives. 

The data collected will help the College to develop evidence-based guidelines around: 

  1. What a fair and sustainable 40-hour week looks like
  2. Safe and sustainable patient loads
  3. Ratios for how many GPs per 100,000 patients each region, and the country, needs.

The attached media release showing the results of our first diary study will be sent out to media and other sector organisations like yours to raise awareness and highlight the urgent need for changes in the way that we work, and the way that our crucial workforce is viewed across the health sector. 

The project’s diary study ran between 20 November and 3 December 2023 and over 400 respondents, at the end of every day for 14 days, including weekends, recorded the time they spent on five key tasks: 

  1. Contact time (patient consultations) 
  2. Non-contact clinical time  
  3. Training and education 
  4. Clinical governance and practice improvement 
  5. Management (running the practice)

Of major concern, were the results showing the total number of hours respondents worked over the two-week period, which are highlighted in the media release. Having over half of respondents working all 14 days, and many working 50 or 60+ hour weeks is unacceptable and not a long-term solution for our workforce. 

The ‘Your Work Counts’ project will be running another diary study exercise in the coming months, and this data will build on the current results and further support the College’s advocacy efforts to have our profession valued appropriately for the work that we do and the complexity of the care we provide. 

If you would like to discuss this project further, you can contact College Medical Director, Dr Luke Bradford on,

Sent on behalf of Dr Luke Bradford
Medical Director