Common procedures/interventions

  • performing clinical examinations of patients to assess, diagnose and monitor a patient’s condition – these are wide-ranging and may involve the use of specialist equipment such as a stethoscope or otoscope (an instrument for examining the ear)
  • carrying out tests within the surgery such as urine sample testing to assist with diagnosis
  • interpreting findings from investigations such as blood tests to help reach a diagnosis
  • using basic life support skills and emergency procedures such as defibrillation where necessary
  • What else do GPs do?

The work can vary depending on whether you are a GP partner or a salaried GP.

Salaried GPs:

  • are employed by the practice and receive a set salary on a scale according to your experience
  • receive all the benefits of being employed, such as sick-pay, holiday and maternity pay
  • are mostly involved with clinical work
  • have less say in the way a practice is run
  • can change jobs easily

GP Partners:

  • are self-employed and are effectively running a small business
  • receive a share of the profits of the practice – with the potential for higher earnings
  • pay their own tax and do not receive benefits such as sick-pay, holiday and maternity pay
  • are still involved with clinical work, but also share responsibility with the other partners for decision-making and the ultimate survival of the practice. This includes the financial aspects of keeping the business afloat and employing staff whilst ensuring the practice provides high quality care
  • are generally committed to one practice for many years, which offers great continuity for both doctors and patients
  • can influence the future direction of the practice and the range of services offered, for example deciding on the staff mix within the practice which can include employing nurse practitioners, paramedics or pharmacists to improve the running of the multidisciplinary team (MDT) and subsequent patient care
  • are responsible for the financial success of their practice, even though some GP practices employ a business manager, Business functions such as financial management, practice strategy and policy, service development and recruitment are all part of the job.

Whether you are a salaried GP or a partner, administration is a big part of the work. This includes reading and acting on letters received from hospital specialists and patients, signing repeat prescriptions, death certificates, statements of fitness for work and preparing letters and reports. GPs also carry out audits to improve systems and outcomes of care as part of the Quality and Outcomes (QOF) targets system. Regular staff meetings are also part of life in general practice.

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