The Crisis in General Practice is reality, and it’s going to get worse. Illegal suggestions to charge patients are a measure of desparation.

If a government runs down the funding, increases the administration burden, and restricts the scope and variety of a job, then it becomes less popular. To do this to a self-employed professional GP of many years experience is to drive him to early retirement. A younger doctor simply shrugs, disengages, and is willing to be salaried. We are falling behind other countries in many areas by comparison with other systems, but the golden calf of “free at the point of access” cannot be challenged, and the GPs in Edinburgh have made an illegal suggestion. What a mess… It is politicians who have to change the rules of the game…

Sofia Lind reports for Pulse 17th May 2017: Politicians must end ‘callous disregard’ for GP plight, says GPC chair

BMA News reported in March 2017: BMA warns that fall in GP numbers shows crisis deepening in general practice

Nick Bostock reports in GPonline 17th May 2017: Hundreds of practices could display GP crisis film in waiting rooms

Hundreds of GP practices across London could display a short film in their waiting room to raise awareness among patients of the crisis facing the profession.

A film put together as part of Londonwide LMCs’ GP State of Emergency campaign urges patients to engage with their practice’s patient group and to challenge local councillors and MPs to support general practice.

Three suppliers of waiting room screens in London have agreed to make the film available in the ‘menu’ of options practices can choose to display, allowing hundreds of practices across the capital to show patients how much pressure they are under.

GP State of Emergency film:

Londonwide LMCs chief executive Dr Michelle Drage said: ‘Patients are very aware of the symptoms of the pressures on practices – extended waiting times, rushed GPs and withdrawn services, but not so aware of the underlying causes, workforce shortages and squeezed funding.

GP crisis

‘Our video provides some simple, factual background to these issues and suggests patients speak to their practice team about the challenges they face and how then to raise these issues with their elected representatives. With patients onboard, practices have a much stronger voice.’

Dr Drage said that although GPs may be daunted by the prospect of begining conversations with patients about pressure on the service, ‘most are very receptive to hearing about the pressures on their practice’. Patients are often surprised to hear that in London general practice delivers unlimited care for £136 per patient per year, she added.

‘Over the last year, I and other Londonwide LMCs’ GPs have met with MPs and London Assembly Members from Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats at practices in their constituencies.

‘These meetings have all been positive and resulted in issues such as Capita, premises and workforce being raised with the health secretary and DH. If we can get patients to join us in making the case for their own practices these messages will be greatly amplified.’

Waiting room screen suppliers Egton, Numed and NoticeboardTV have agreed to make the film available on their systems, and talks are underway with other providers.

Carolyn Wickware reports for Pulse: All GPs will go salaried to the detriment of patients, predicts senior GP leader

The public will only miss what they had – when its gone. GP indemnity fees spiral out of control with 25% rise last year..

GPs reject MBAs. It’s no wonder… GP recruitment scheme offering MBAs scrapped after it attracts no GPs…

The GP as Independant Contractor

Older GPs wish to remain self employed – but do the new ones? If you run down the system, committment is less.

The government shows its misunderstanding of GPs – scapegoating the resentful and disengaged may lead to unintended consequences.

David Oliver: The NHS’s understaffing is its Achilles’ heel BMJ  2017;357:j2192

Kat Lay in the Times 18th May 2017: UK healthcare fails to keep up with European neighbours

and today GPs press for patient charges to stop surgeries collapsing


This entry was posted in A Personal View on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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