FOUR out of ten GP practices in England feel that their current premises are not adequate to deliver patient services, says a new BMA survey.
Nearly 4,000 GP practices responded to the survey, with seven out of ten saying their facilities are too small to deliver extra or additional services to patients.
Around 60 per cent GPs reported having to share consulting rooms or employ hot-desking, with just over 40 per cent believing this restricts the number of appointments their practice can provide and almost a third concerned it damages the overall delivery of services.
Over 50 per cent of practices have seen no investment or refurbishment in the past ten years and around 60 per cent of GPs feel that their practice is not big enough to provide vital training and education programmes for practice staff.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, Chair of BMA’s GP Committee said: "GP practice buildings in large parts of England are in such a poor state they are beginning to seriously undermine patient care. Far too many practices have seen no real investment in their buildings in the past ten years leaving them in cramped, unsuitable conditions that are hindering the ability of many to even offer basic general practice services.
"Practices also reported being prevented from relocating to more suitable premises because of a lack of resources."
Dr Maureen Baker, Chair of the RCGP, said: "The poor state of many GP surgeries is another symptom of the chronic lack of funding for general practice and, once again, it is our patients who are bearing the brunt.
"Every patient should be able to see a GP when they need one – and they should be able to do this in modern, spacious surroundings where their privacy is protected.
"Sadly, more and more patients are finding that this is the exception rather than the rule."