Saving General Practice
This week we have published our new GPC England report, Saving General Practice. It focuses on the need for urgent action to address the funding deficit impacting general practice, the requirement for a sustainable expansion of the workforce, the importance of a strategy for reducing workload pressures, the need to remove the burden of the current indemnity system, to deliver IT and premises solutions fit for modern healthcare and to build this on the foundation of the national GMS contract. A copy of the document is attached and details can be found here:
There are also links to my pre-conference video and a short film we produced about the situation in Folkestone in my weekly email to GPs: http://bma-mail.org.uk/JVX-5A1PZ-6B36IQY55B/cr.aspx
GP at Hand
On Monday Babylon health released a press release about the launch of their GP at Hand service. I’ve attached the press release for information. This has raised many questions and concerns, not least about the cherry picking of young health people and exclusion of many others, and we have been in direct contact with NHS England, NHS London and NHS Digital throughout the week, and have further meetings planned next week.GP at Hand FINAL London
On Thursday I attended a meeting of GPC Wales in Cardiff. Thank you to Charlotte Jones and her team for their warm welcome. Whilst our contracts may becoming increasingly different, the issues that GPs and practices face are very similar, not least the acute problems created by the recruitment and retention crisis. It was also interesting to see the positive engagement GPC Wales has had with the police service, with a presentation by a chief superintendent about the issues relating to access to medical records.
Patients in Lithuania, Belgium, Portugal and others around the world enjoy longer visits with their GP than Britons who spend, on average, just over nine minutes at an appointment according to a Cambridge University study published by BMJ. The news, featured in The Daily Telegraph and The Independent, in print and online, notes that the BMA has been calling for a 15-minute appointments stating it can be difficult to make a diagnosis in the recommended time of ten minutes. I was reported saying “GPs are working harder than ever before to deliver more appointments to patients and find new ways of providing care more efficiently. We have long argued that the standard ten minute consultation is often inadequate for many patients, especially for the increasing number of older people with complex and multiple conditions. Investing in general practice will pay dividends for the wider NHS and also relieve some of the current pressures that many GP practices are having to cope with.”
Finally, thanks to all at Humberside LMC for inviting me to speak at their AGM in Hull earlier this week. It was a good opportunity to hear the concerns raised by local GPs.