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Only two weeks to save general practice, warns RCGP

The RCGP has warned GPs they have just 16 days to ‘save general practice’ and is calling for them to get as many people as possible to sign its Put patients first: back general practice petition.

The College have set the ambitious target of one million signatories, which it says can be achieved if every one of their 49,000 members enlists 20 supporters to the cause.

The deadline has been set at 15 August so that signatories can be counted before political party conferences begin, and members have been provided with Freepost envelopes to return signatures.

In a letter to members yesterday, RCGP chair Dr Maureen Baker said that, despite the widespread coverage of the campaign so far ‘there is still more to do in order to persuade politicians to ensure that investment in general practice is increased in each of the four UK nations’.

Dr Baker added: ‘Thousands of practices are already promoting the petition, which is fantastic. However, some practice managers have told us that they have not yet had the chance to put the petition out in their surgeries. So, please do check to make sure that your practice is promoting the petition proactively.’

‘The fact that we have asked for the petition booklets to be returned by 15 August, so that we can count the number of signatures in time for the political party conferences, means we now have just 16 days left to maximise our push to save general practice.’

Pulse has launched a Stop Practice Closures campaign, backed by the RCGP and other GP organisations, aimed at preserving practices under imminent threat of closure and securing long term sustainable investment.

Readers' comments (19)

  • The RCGP still has 49,000 members!!!! Am shocked........

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  • 'Flash, we only have 14 days to save the earth!'
    Too little, too late.
    Sorry, but you cuddly cardigan Jesus sandal wearing bleeding heart RCGP lot have long since missed the boat.
    GPs have been requesting action for months and months - stunning silence only.

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  • Not quite sure what will happen in 2 weeks? I will be impressed if they get 1 million signatures. I expect GPs will bumble along in the usual dysfunctional way and some practices will ultimately close but this campaign could well backfire if nothing dramatic happens.

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  • I agree with above.

    Whilst I still support the petition, RCGP have done too little, too late. They could have started the campaign well before now, party conference is something we knew would happen around now ridden from last year.

    I'm sorry Dr Baker, RCGP is completely out of touch with the grassroots (which led to the delay in realization of the collapse), lacks foresight, former chairs losing credibility of the college as repetitive of it's members, and lacks the means to achieve it's political goal. With recent news of charging for revalidation tool kit, I'm surprised anyone is still a member

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  • Far too late for the large number of people who, like me, have already jumped ship.
    It amuses me how the people in power have done nothing at all in response to our increasingly desperate pleas for a long long time, but expect an immediate jump to attention from us within 2 weeks as soon as they demand it. I resigned 18 months ago as the situation was perfectly clear then and nothing whatsoever has been done to make me feel it was the wrong decision since.

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  • What a thoughtless campaign.
    Is the RCGP saying that geberal practice will collapse in 16 days if it is not saved? Well 17 days from now the public will see general practice is still there so they will create a memory that the RCGP cries wolf. Own goal RCGP.

    Or is the RCGP saying that if the message isn't got over to politicians, or collected the million signatures in 16 days, then general practice is not saved? So 17 days from now when they haven't reached that target, general practice is not saved, it is utterly doomed from that point on? Once again the general public tucks away a memory of the RCGP crying wolf. Own goal to the RCGP.

    No wonder general practice is collapsing when those supposed to be protecting it, like GPC and RCGP, are so utterly inept.

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  • Dear Dr Baker,
    Is this how RCGP intends to save General Practice? By making us all salaried or locums to private companies running our surgeries? One such a GP company in particular springs to mind.

    RCGP chair, Professor Clare Gerada, calls for all GPs to become salaried
    PULSE 3 October 2013 | By Nigel Praities

    Former chair Professor Clare Gerada one of six elected to RCGP council
    PULSE 2 June 2014 | By Sofia Lind

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  • I'm afraid the RCGP is part of the problem.

    demand is being fuelled by the public therefore a put the 'patients first' campaign is just going to greenlight the sort of problems that are pushing up demand. what we need is a put GPs first campaign - we are professionals trained to give expert clinical advice. we are not at the beck and call of the public and are not here to sort out their social and life problems. either we are treated fairly or we walk out of the NHS contract. it is not a diffcult message?

    but i forgot the rcgp does not represent GPs...

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  • I actually thought this campaign was beginning to get traction with the public, the profession and politicians. Why go and throw it all away on a statement that will be proven wrong in 17 days. Ill-judged and intemperate. The boy who cried wolf ...

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  • The RCGP has never impressed me - they've had some bloody daft ideas over the years.
    I'm going to agree with Dr 10:28, we need to cut some of the sillier things patients bring to us, and stop being the ultimate dumping-ground for all the services that won't take responsibility - dentists OOH come to mind, but they're not alone.

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