The impact of austerity – as reported by GPs

Community-led health organisations will resonate with the findings in this analysis of GPs experience of health issues exacerbated by current economic impacts.  The latest research report from ‘GPs in the Deep End’, published by GPs working in Scotland’s most deprived communities, explores the impact austerity is having on people in Scotland’s least affluent communities and on the patient care available to them. The main issue highlighted in the report is the worsening mental health of patients. Job insecurity, financial strain, changes to benefits and fuel poverty (having to choose between heating and eating) are all placing increasing strain on people’s mental health, and GP practices are finding that they have to choose between dealing with these issues at the expense of attending to the physical health of patients. The report gives the example of the increasing number of people seeking letters of support for benefit appeals from their GPs.

Cuts to social care and support services are having a direct effect on services available to people, with some GPs reporting that they are having to deal with the consequences of these services being overstretched and under resourced.

The report also contains a set of case studies, showing the effect of austerity on individuals and families.

Download the report from the University of Glasgow’s website.

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