Episode 149: A paradox of access and how we can address the increasing demand in general practice

In this episode, we talk to Dr Jennifer Voorhees, who is a GP in Tameside and an NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer based at the University of Manchester.

Title of paper: A paradox of access problems in general practice: a qualitative participatory case study

Available at:

Access to general practice is an important topic, yet research and policies addressing access often take a simplistic definition, resulting in a lack of understanding of the complexities of longstanding interrelated problems. This research explains a paradox of access problems, in which the focus and attention on the increasing demand on general practice both creates and obscures another problem of unmet need. This is done through reactive rules and policies to manage demand, which largely undermine continuity in favour of speed of access, and generate work that takes up capacity of staff and patients. Clinicians can look at their current ways of working and identify ways to reverse the paradox in order to address hidden unmet needs and the resulting health inequalities in the population.

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