BMA issues new support package to help GP practices lobby MPs and local media
The BMA has today announced a new package for practices across England, which it says is aimed at ‘reversing the tide that is threatening to engulf the profession’.
A pack will be sent out to practices across the country in the next few weeks, which will include guidance on legally reducing workload, advice on how to federate, posters and car stickers, among other things.
The BMA said the campaign – entitled ‘An urgent prescription for general practice’ – is in ‘direct response to the calls we have been receiving at recent conferences’.
The announcement comes ahead of the special LMC conference taking place this weekend, which will consider motions on all GPs submitting undated resignations unless the Government tackles the crisis facing general practice.
Pulse will be reporting live from the Special LMC Conference this Saturday. Follow all the developments at pulsetoday.co.uk/lmcconf
Pulse today revealed that the number of surgeries closing is continuing to increase due to pressures around funding and recruitment.
The BMA said that its new pack is aimed at ‘ensuring a safe and sustainable general practice’ by promoting five principles: a safe, manageable workload; more time with patients; increased practice funding; more staff to support GPs; and less box ticking.
Dr Beth McCarron, a GPC executive team member, said the profession is struggling under the weight of ‘incredible pressures’ from ‘declining funding, rising patient demand, staff shortages and the excessive burden being placed on it by outside bodies, such as the CQC’.
She added: ‘This crisis has been the catalyst for a new project to provide in-depth support to grassroots GPs that will be sent to GP practices across England.’
The resource pack was not a ‘magic bullet’ to solve the ills of general practice, she said, as this would require the Government to increase funding.
However, she added: ‘This resource pack, coupled with local and significant national campaigning, will allow GPs to begin fighting back, both in the practical and public sense, and reverse the tide that is threatening to overwhelm the profession.’
What will the pack contain?
Prescription for general practice
In practical terms, the pack sent to practices will contain:
- The BMA’s Managing Workload guidance, which gives advice on how to legally and practically reduce workload while maintaining patient safety.
- Advice on how to begin exploring federating and networking with other practices to help manage workload.
- GPC’s visions for the future of general practice.
- ‘How to’ guidance for lobbying local politicians, including template letters for contacting local MPs about the pressures facing local services.
- Template press letter to send to the local media.
- Pre-printed postcards for patients to complete to be submitted to local MPs pledging their support and prescription for change.
- ‘Prescription for general practice’ poster and car stickers.