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GP leaders convene crisis summit to defend GPs against media attacks

Exclusive The RCGP and GPC will meet for a crisis summit next week to form a joint response to weeks of negative press against the GP profession, Pulse has learnt.

Following accusations from the health secretary that inaccessible GPs were responsible for the current pressures on A&E departments, the college and GPC will discuss how they can better champion the profession, and communicate the workload pressures GPs are under.

The meeting has been scheduled in to fall after the LMCs Conference in London tomorrow and Friday, for which an emergency motion on Jeremy Hunt’s comments on GP out-of-hours responsibility will be discussed.

The meeting comes as after both the RCGP and GPC went on TV and radio to defend GPs from media attacks that accussed GPs of not knowing patient’s names.

RCGP chair Professor Gerada told Pulse the meeting with the GPC aimed to ensure a more sustainable NHS, with GPs at its heart.

She said: ‘We will talk about what is going on with the crisis in general practice, and how we support our members on both sides.

‘Number one, to champion what they are doing and number two, to try and ensure that we have a sustainable NHS where the Government invests more resources into primary care.’

‘We will meet in order to see what we can do to take things forward. The most important thing is to understand the value of general practice, the value of generalism. I think we are very concerned that we are constantly under attack.’

GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey said it was an ‘opportune time’ following the LMCs Conference to discuss together with the RCGP how they could jointly respond to what has been happening over the last few weeks.

He said: ‘I think that we again need to state the obvious, which is that the NHS depends on GPs, that GPs are valued and appreciated by their patients - the patient survey consistently demonstrates that - and we need to talk again about the key role that GPs play in individual health, within local populations and going back to the essentials of general practice, which is being jeopardised by the Government.

‘It is a whole range of different factors but it would certainly help if the Government would applaud GPs rather than blaming them. If they showed that they valued the work that GPs are doing and recognised the workload that GPs are under. They have directed the focus on the pressures on A&E but actually the pressure on general practice is probably greater.

On the social networking site Twitter, Pulse editor Steve Nowottny has began a hash tag #gpknowsmyname that has been used by many patients to show support for their GPs.



Readers' comments (14)

  • Vinci Ho

    I hope you guys will meet each other with a war cabinet mentality
    All the best

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  • Good luck but you're gonna find it difficult to counter the public's deep rooted prejudice that GPs are overpaid,incompetent and lazy.Years of media brainwashing isn't going to be overturned by a single joint response which is likely to consist of the usual platitudes of how great the NHS is and how we need to protect it without mentioning that big elephant in the room:patient accountability;that no health service can be delivered as desired when there is free at point of delivery service and a complete disconnect between supply and demand.

    Furthermore unlike some nations such as USA where there is a huge respect for qualified professionals such as doctors etc and success is encouraged and celebrated Britain is a country that resents those who are relatively prosperous. We GPs are pariahs that need a good kicking and bringing down to the level of its large number of benefit claimants

    Its not a verbal response that we want its physical action:are we going to withdraw our services from the NHS or not?Because its time the government and the spoilt public get a good kicking for a change!!

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  • The Royal College of Emergency Medicine says it can't vouch for quality due to pressure and callsit a crisis while A&E input has decreased 1.7% (MIU and walk in centres excluded) and consultant numbers have increased exponentially. Where is RCGP when we are facing sustained media onslaught with huge work dumping from secondary care that many GP,s are emigrating or retiring. If we don't make a stand now we will never stand for anything!

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  • Azeem Majeed

    We will need good data to counter the anti-GP arguments. Even then, it will be an uphill battle. As the expression goes, 'A lie is halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on.'

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  • All this moaning is to no purpose. Whilst GP principals have indeed fallen by 4%, non-principals (salaried doctors and locums) have risen by 720%. The haves are screwing the have nots in your profession.

    And it would be better if you stopped whinging about being dumped on by secondary care. It works both ways. I spent all this morning dealing with patients who could have been dealt with in primary care but weren't, and the stories they tell are deeply worrying. No access, refusal to examine, refusal to refer, discourtesy...

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  • I'm really saddened that some of my medical colleagues have turned this into a A/E vs GP blame game.Its a classic gouvernment ruse of divide and rule.We've all been hospital doctors once and know all the crap that used to land at our doors:the alcoholics,the serial overdosers,those seeking quick fixes,a cheap and convenient second opinion without waiting in the usual OPD referral queues.I agree with the above comment that at present there is no recruitment crisis.All those muppets coming out of VTS schemes have to go somehwere and i don't think they're all boarding on the next plane to Australia.But there is a deepening crisis of morale which which will eventually affect recruitment at some point in the future.

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  • Fight the good fight Comrade!

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  • So Sarah quisling finally dares to ask a member of the politburo a weak faintly critical question shouldn't affect her in the honours list though. Lets face it the Tories despise primary care we need to hang on for 2 years and the GPC need to challenge *unt's 24 hr contract imposition in the high court as breaching European law which hopefully delay the imposition until the next election.if the Tories win then the NHS is over

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  • Thank you and Best Wishes to the teams trying to represent us GPs. I wonder if it time to renegotiate the contract.....and consider having an NHS contract like the Dentists? Thats the only way I can see this ending

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  • How about a TV programme where you have a job swap between A&E and General Practice.....

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