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GPC calls on the Mail to campaign for more GPs

The BMA has asked the Mail on Sunday to join it in ‘vigorously campaigning’ for more GPs in an open letter to the paper.

Writing in response to an article on GP locums published in the Mail on Sunday and on the Daily Mail website titled ‘The GPs paid £100k to work just at weekends over the weekend, GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey said most GPs’ working environment is ‘characterised by relentless workload pressure from rising demand, declining resources and the move to transfer more services from hospitals into the community’.

Dr Vautrey said ‘the vast majority’ of GPs ‘won’t recognise’ the figures described in the article, and called on the Mail to join the BMA’s campaign for more GPs in a bid to reduce NHS reliance on locums.

He wrote: ‘If we are to put an end to the reliance on locums we need to urgently address the situation we have where not enough GPs are being recruited and too many are retiring from full-time work leaving practices struggling to replace them. In order to reduce the need to rely on locums, we hope the Mail will join us in vigorously campaigning for more GPs.’

According to the Mail’s article GP pay was ‘spiralling out of control’, however it also quoted House of Commons health committee chair and former GP Dr Sarah Wollaston as saying that ‘the underlying problem here is the workforce shortfall in general practice, so it’s possible for people to work for agencies for these kind of rates.’

The BMA’s letter to the Mail

Dear Sir/Madam,

The way to reduce NHS organisations reliance on locums is to deal with the dangerous levels of workload that GPs working both in hours and out of ours are having to contend with (The GPs paid £100k just to work at weekends, Sunday 26 October).

The vast majority GPs won’t recognise the figures in the Mail’s report, but instead face a working environment characterised by relentless workload pressure from rising demand, declining resources and the move to transfer more services from hospitals into the community.

Despite this they continue day in, day out to put patients first and for many taking on locums, which practices themselves have to pay for out of their dwindling budgets, is a necessity to meet demand for appointments from the public. A shortage of GPs is exacerbating this problem, with hundreds of GP trainee posts left vacant this year and a BMA survey highlighting recently how six out of 10 GPs were considering early retirement.

If we are to put an end to the reliance on locums we need to urgently address the situation we have where not enough GPs are being recruited and too many are retiring from full-time work leaving practices struggling to replace them. In order to reduce the need to rely on locums, we hope the Mail will join us in vigorously campaigning for more GPs.

Yours faithfully,

Dr Richard Vautrey, deputy chair of the BMA’s GP committee

Source: BMA

 

Readers' comments (33)

  • No chance . Paul Dacre is what he looks like .

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  • Una Coales

    Writing to the Daily Mail to support GPs and help recruit more? Are you kidding me? What's in it for them? Nothing. Won't sell newspapers.

    Try speaking on Sky News, BBC, Channel 5, radio or better yet, give GPs their right to be balloted on strike action!

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  • This comment has been removed by the moderator

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  • isn't this a bit pointless.

    If it wasn't critical you have honest parties( the medical profession) dealing with dishonest ones - media and politicians.

    One has a complex PR set up the other has some press officers.

    You're in a battle zone, polite letters to the enemies are a bit 'Neville chamberlain'!

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  • It is The Daily Mail that has been partly responsible for the GP Partner recruitment mess that has led to thi whole issue with "out of control" locum pay.
    The constant and vicious attacks on GPs (no other profession or group in society has been terrorised to the same degree) has made GPs want to retire and trainees not want to become GPs.
    Jeremy Hunt should be fuming anf frankly enraged with The Daily Mail for causing this mess.
    The Daily Mail has committed a "moral crime" against the public.
    While I realise that PULSE magazine probably wants me silenced, the truth will out....it always does so rather than "deleting me" they should focus on the real culprits...The Daily Mail !!

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  • My message to The Daily Mail:

    "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely"

    This is your chance to use your powers for the good of society............

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  • The response comes across as very defensive and you just end up playing into Daily Mail's hands.Best is to let the mad dog bark.

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  • Daily Mail doesn't upset me, they are quick buck journalists who are interested in making a story without any thoughts to the consequences.

    I'm upset with GPC though.

    Have they already forgotten the Mail has been ordered to pay for their derogatory article on Dr Serrano? And even without this, why are GPC pleading with newspaper famous for it's attack on GPs - do they really believe they'll do anything?

    If Churchill went to Hitler, asking him to be kind and stop bombing cities would he have stopped? Or would he have seen an ailing enemy and dealt a fatal blow instead?

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  • Vinci Ho

    It is a 'different' time to have a headline like this compared with say 2-3 years ago. It is interesting that the common knowledge of not enough GPs around has reached many people. So whatever figures quoted for GPs to work in the weekend can only be seen as desperate measure. But who is the 'bad guy' created this mess of desperation??

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  • Enough with the locum bashing please. I work as a locum and my rates are lower now than when I first qualified and did maternity locums in 2005. The rates quoted in this trash article from this 'newspaper' are meaningless rubbish. I left my salaried job to become a locum because of the dire state of general practice..significantly exacerbated by this paper. If you want to hound locums out of the workforce too bring it on...if there weren't any locums at all you'd be stuffed

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