This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Don't let politically correct johnnies muzzle our Phil

Pulse has asked

a selection of prominent GPs to write open letters

to ministers as part of our campaign and to contribute to the Government's ongoing 'listening exercise'. We will

be publishing these over the next few weeks, starting this week with Professor Sir Brian Jarman

Let's restore our integrated GP service as the star of the NHS

Dear Health Ministers

I was at an Anglo-US conference in 2001 when Gordon Brown announced a 43 per cent real-terms increase in NHS funding over the next five years.

At the end of the conference our host, having heard the woes of the US health service, and feeling that the NHS's problem (long-term underfunding) was about to be solved, said perhaps it was a pity that they lost the War of Independence.

By 2001 the NHS certainly had deteriorated during the preceding 40 years, having dropped behind comparable Western countries in percentage GDP spent on health, with deteriorating comparators of infant mortality, life expectancy, and doctors and hospital beds per head of population.

Waiting times for hospital treatment were unacceptably long.

The one, undoubted (low-cost) star of the NHS was the integrated GP service with everyone having their personal, generally well-trained, doctor with their medical notes following them when they changed GPs.

Now, four years later, we've had a large chunk of the increased NHS funding but hospital waiting times are still about the same as in 1997, there are fewer hospital beds available and occupancy has increased.

The integrated structure of general practice has been lost with the introduction of a plurality of primary care providers.

GPs' medical notes are to be centralised with NHS access to them not normally being via the patient's GP ­ this without public consultation, which, when known, may make it unacceptable to the public. I'm not sure our US host would make the same comment now.

Professor Sir Brian Jarman

is emeritus professor at Imperial College London and former BMA president

GP visits are now being arranged for 20 MPs

We are still seeking GPs in the following

areas to host practice visits by their MPs

ABERDEEN NORTH

FRANK DORAN (L)

BIRMINGHAM ERDINGTON

SION SIMON (L)

BIRMINGHAM SELLY OAK

LYNNE JONES (L)

BLAYDON

DAVE ANDERSON (L)

BLYTH VALLEY

RONNIE CAMPBELL (L)

BRECON & RADNORSHIRE

ROGER WILLIAMS (LD)

BRIGHTON PAVILLION

DAVID LEPPER (L)

BRISTOL NW

DOUG NAYSMITH (L)

CARSHALTON & WALLINGTON

TOM BRAKE (LD)

CREWE & NANTWICH

GWYNETH DUNWOODY (L)

DUMFRIES &

GALLOWAY

RUSSELL BROWN (L)

EASTLEIGH

CHRIS HUHNE (L)

FOYLE

MARK DURKAN (SDLP)

HASTINGS & RYE

MICHAEL FOSTER (L)

HEMEL HEMPSTEAD

MIKE PENNING (C)

HOUGHTON &

WASHINGTON EAST

FRASER KEMP (L)

HULL NORTH

DIANA JOHNSON (L)

KEIGHLEY

ANN CRYER (L)

MID DORSET

ANNETTE BROOKE (LD)

MONMOUTH

DAVID DAVIES (C)

N DORSET

ROBERT WALTER (C)

NEWPORT EAST

JESSICA MORDEN (L)

NORTH EAST BEDFORDSHIRE

ALISTAIR BURT (C)

NORTH EAST DERBYSHIRE

NATASCHA ENGEL (L)

NORTH EAST HERTFORDSHIRE

OLIVER HEALD (C)

NORTHAVON

STEVE WEBB (LD)

REIGATE

CRISPIN BLUNT (C)

ROMSEY

SANDRA GIDLEY (LD)

ROTHER VALLEY

KEVIN BARRON (L)

SOUTH SWINDON

ANNE SNELGROVE (L)

SHEFFIELD HILLSBOROUGH

ANGELA SMITH (L)

SHIPLEY

PHILIP DAVIES (C)

STAFFORD

DAVID KIDNEY (L)

STAFFORDSHIRE MOORLANDS

CHARLOTTE ATKINS (L)

TIVERTON & HONITON

ANGELA BROWNING (C)

TUNBRIDGE WELLS

GREG CLARK (C)

VALE OF YORK

ANNE MCINTOSH (C)

WARRINGTON SOUTH

HELEN SOUTHWORTH (L)

WEST DERBYSHIRE

PATRICK MCLOUGHLIN (C)

WESTBURY

DR ANDREW MURRISON (C)

WOKINGHAM

JOHN REDWOOD (C)

WORKINGTON

TONY CUNNINGHAM (L)

Contact pulse@cmpinformation.com or phone 020 7921 8102 if you are willing to host a practice visit

Rate this article 

Click to rate

  • 1 star out of 5
  • 2 stars out of 5
  • 3 stars out of 5
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • 5 stars out of 5

0 out of 5 stars

Have your say