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'More time' on admin than patients

Doctors spend more than twice as much time on paperwork as they do on home visits, a survey suggests.

Attending management meetings and doing administration takes up around 17 hours a week, compared to seven hours spent at patients' bedsides.

About 400 doctors were polled for the survey, having previously expressed a willingness to be questioned about the NHS.

More than one in four (28%) said they were "very concerned" about the health service and could not see a future for the NHS, while 44% believe the standard of patient care will drop in the next five years.

Some 17% said cuts to the NHS was their number one professional concern, while the same proportion said they had too much paperwork.

A quarter said they knew patients delayed seeing them because of appointment waiting times and 55% of these thought this had a negative impact on recovery.

Doctors also criticised Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, with 72% saying they questioned his ability in the role and 49% saying he failed to properly understand the needs of the NHS.

The survey, from law firm Your Legal Friend, also questioned 1,000 members of the public.

Some 35% said they had received poor care from health workers while 71% delayed going to the doctor. Of these, 52% said it was because of trouble getting an appointment, with one in five waiting a week or more.

Dr Chris Steele, resident doctor on ITV's This Morning, said: "These are worrying times for the NHS, as doctors express considerable doubt about whether the system actually works."

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