We are starting a new feature here at Wallsend Online, we are going to look at different professions and and look at ‘A day in the life of’.

We start with one of our local GP’s.

Day in the life of a GP – Pip Singh, Village Green Surgery

No day is the same as a GP and thus is what makes the profession an extremely rewarding one. General Practitioners not only manage the surgeries that they work from but also the care of the individual patients and families registered with them. This can be from birth all the way through to end of life care. Relationships with patients, continuity of care and patient safety remain the core values of general practice.

An average day will vary depending if you are the emergency doctor (also known as duty doctor, or the on-call doctor) for the morning session or not. Every surgery will differ, and some may have an emergency doctor allocated to the full day.

If on call, we will likely begin our session at 8am reviewing anywhere between 50-100 pathology reports and making decisions on abnormal ones. This may require arranging emergency appointments or arranging hospital admissions if significantly abnormal. We then look at all the out of hours contacts our patients have had whilst the surgery was closed and making decisions on if any further action is needed with that particular case.
The on-call Doctor will then review the requests for house calls and triage (prioritise) any phone calls. This may result in telephone advice, a face to face appointment, a house call or signposting to a more appropriate healthcare professional.

The on-call Doctor will then undertake 3-4 house calls after the above work has been carried out. This will involve detailed assessment of the patients’ symptoms and coming up with a treatment plan.

If you are not the Duty Doctor, then you will have a full morning surgery of anywhere between 12-18 patients dealing with anything ranging from minor illness to more complex illnesses requiring multiple investigations, treatments and possibly even referrals. Appointment times vary anywhere from 10-15 minutes.

Following morning surgery, we will then review hospital letters (anywhere from 20-40 each) and decide on a course of action for each one. We then sign anywhere from 50-100 repeat prescriptions a day and undertake around 10-20 medication reviews.
There may well be clinical meetings or practice meetings to squeeze in at this time. These maybe educational meetings or practice operational meetings where decisions about the running of the practice need to be made.

Further house calls may then be needed and then afternoon surgery will often involve a further 12-18 patients alongside dealing with extra patients who want to be seen on an urgent emergency basis. The on-call Doctor for the afternoon will aim to assess most of the urgent requests for assessments amongst dealing with requests from social workers about safeguarding queries, palliative care assessments from district nurses, hospital doctors requiring information about our patients amongst a whole Host of other things.
Direct patient assessments can be around 30-40 patients a day (possibly more).
Indirect patient care i.e. lab reports, administrative tasks, prescriptions, medication reviews will often be in excess of 100 patients.

Often the above will also be undertaken whilst supervising GP trainees, medical students and other trainee healthcare professionals.

Other duties include
• Reviewing trainees portfolios
• Clinical management work ensuring the contract between your practice and the Government is being adhered to
• Writing clinical protocols to ensure ongoing patient safety
• Significant event reviews
• In house education
• Personal education and ensuring that you are keeping unto date with clinical advances.
• Care home ward rounds.

If you would like to be featured in ‘A day in the life of’ then drop me an email to phil|@wallsendonline.co.uk