Stop play­ing with our NHS

Tameside Advertiser - - VIEWPOINTS -

A THIRD of GPs in the north of Eng­land are con­sid­er­ing re­tir­ing from gen­eral prac­tice within the next five years.

The re­sults of our re­cent sur­vey of over 15,000 GPs across the UK, calls into ques­tion the viability of elec­tion pledges in the po­lit­i­cal par­ties’ re­cent man­i­festo an­nounce­ments, which prom­ise to dramatically in­crease the num­ber of GPs in the next Par­lia­ment.

As well as a wor­ry­ing num­ber of GPs con­sid­er­ing re­tir­ing, the poll shows that al­most one in five of those GPs who re­sponded were con­sid­er­ing mov­ing to part-time work­ing, nine per cent are con­sid­er­ing leav­ing the UK to work over­seas, and seven per cent are con­tem­plat­ing leav­ing gen­eral prac­tice to work in a dif­fer­ent in­dus­try.

●● Dr Kailash Chand

This, com­bined with the se­ri­ous short­fall in the num­ber of doc­tors choos­ing to train as GPs in the re­gion is deeply con­cern­ing and presents a se­ri­ous threat to fu­ture pa­tient care.

It is clear that in­cred­i­ble pres­sures on GP ser­vices are at the heart of this work­force cri­sis, with es­ca­lat­ing de­mand hav­ing far out­stripped ca­pac­ity.

GPs across the re­gion, are over­worked and in­tensely frus­trated that they do not have enough time to spend with their pa­tients, es­pe­cially those with mul­ti­ple and com­plex prob­lems, in need of spe­cialised care.

Rather than mak­ing un­achiev­able, head­line­grab­bing prom­ises, we need politi­cians to fo­cus on ad­dress­ing the pres­sures fac­ing GP ser­vices, so that we re­tain the cur­rent GP work­force and at­tract young doc­tors to be­come GPs.

In our new cam­paign, ‘No More Games’, we are call­ing on politi­cians to stop play­ing games with the NHS.

We ur­gently need an hon­est, open de­bate about the fu­ture of gen­eral prac­tice, or we could be fac­ing a sit­u­a­tion where we do not have enough GPs to de­liver ef­fec­tive care to pa­tients.

Dr Kailash Chand BMA spokesper­son for Greater Manch­ester Bri­tish Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion

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