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GP leader hits at politicians

by in GPs, News, Political

NewsPoliticians have a “callous disregard” for the problems of the NHS, a senior GP says today.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the British Medical Association’s GP committee, is due to launch his attack at the annual conference of local medical committees today.

He will warn of the impact of growing GP shortages and say: “The NHS has been paralysed by the vote for the UK to leave the European Union.

“Far from the pledged investment of an extra £350 million per week, audaciously plastered on double decker buses, the reality is we’ve been cheated with the opposite: a deep freeze in NHS spend, continued savage austerity cuts and with politicians turning a blind eye to the spiralling pressures affecting the entire health and social care system, in which even the 18-week target, laid down in the NHS constitution, is being allowed to be breached.”

He goes on: “Despite these contract improvements, the plight of general practice remains parlous and on the brink of collapse. We’ve always been clear the crisis in general practice cannot be addressed by these annual contract revisions.

“Indeed, the bigger issue is the avalanche of work piling up from outside our contract which is either inappropriate or unresourced.

“These include wider pressures such as those stemming from the fact we have a service that is several thousand GPs short due to shambolic workforce planning a decade ago.”

He said the public should “demand that the general election delivers a government that will fund the NHS properly – to bring spending on our health service in line with other European countries, plugging the enormous funding gap – and give general practice the resources to do justice to our profession, our discipline and the patients we care for.”

* Kent and Somerset are the counties at greatest risk from the ageing of GPs, according to an analysis revealed yesterday.

In both counties, more than 24% of GPs are over the age of 55, meaning that they could chose retirement any time in the next decade.

The Health Service Journal says they are among 11 sustainability and transformation partnership areas identified as being at greatest risk of loss of GPs. There are 44 of these areas in England.

All the 11 areas have 19% or more of their GPs over the age of 55.

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