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Independents' Day

Stop insulting GPs with routine seven-day access drive, BMA warns Government

The Government must stop pushing for seven-day routine access to general practice and insulting the thousands of GPs already working flat out from dawn to dusk, and through the night and at weekends, GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul has told the BMA’s annual conference.

Dr Nagpaul said it was ‘simply unrealistic and illogical’ for the Government to expect all practices to offer routine appointments seven days a week when there are already too few GPs to meet current demands, and called for urgent measures to stop GPs being driven out of the profession.

Referring to the Government’s ‘new deal’ promising an additional 5,000 GPs by 2020 in exchange for delivering a routine, seven-day service, Dr Nagpaul warned: ‘This will damage quality by spreading an inadequate GP workforce so thinly, replace continuity of care with impersonal shift-work, and take GPs away from caring for vulnerable older patients.’

Dr Nagpaul cited evidence uncovered by Pulse that the Government’s own pilots had shown there is little demand for routine weekend appointments, with waiting rooms left empty on Sundays and one scheme closing altogether – and said ministers needed to help GPs manage demand rather than stoking public expectations.

He called for a deal that would ‘lift the profession off its knees’ and give GPs enough resources to ‘do our jobs properly, with enough time with patients to provide safe, quality care’.

He said: ‘The Government must invest in a renaissance in general practice, so that it’s a regeneration zone with a bright future, with a manageable and rewarding workload, where GPs have the time and tools to reconnect with the joy of being GPs providing holistic care to patients.

‘Only then will a new generation of doctors want to become GPs, and existing GPs want to remain working so that we can revive, rebuild and safeguard the future of our unique and proud family doctor service, admired the world over.’

Dr Nagpaul’s comments come after it emerged the Government was already rolling back on the pledge to emply 5,000 additional GPs by 2020, amid concerns over collapsing applications for GP training posts.

Related images

  • Dr Chaand Nagpaul - online

Readers' comments (14)

  • The government need to pay gps more to make the job attractive . They can't because the daily mail will go ape . Therefore primary care will die . RIP

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  • Oh Chaand, when will you admit that you cannot influence JH because his intention is to wreck primary care and replace it with US style private insurance. He said so himself in his book. Why are you so selectively and wilfully blind to what is going on? Oh, you got a CBE from this government. I see. And whose side are you on then?

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  • Chand is just performing for the crowd; he knows the BMA is toothless and has no current credible threat. But he needs to look like he is doing something useful to keep the membership fees rolling in.
    We need plans for a mass resignation from the NHS, the Guernsey option, to be credible.

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  • Hey now, hey now
    Don't dream it's over
    Hey now, hey now
    When the world comes in
    They come, they come
    To build a wall between us
    We know they won't win

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  • I'm just wondering, when dealing with bullies, psychopaths, pathological liars and thieves, does asking them to "stop it" change their behavior??

    Maybe Dr Nagpaul has found a novel way to change the ills in society. Perhaps instead of sentencing judges can say to felons "stop it". Police and law enforcement can do the same.

    I was always bought up to believe that in order to change something you NEED ACTION!!

    Come on BMA your in the last chance saloon; doing something could quite possibly save the profession at this juncture..!

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  • Refer all patients en masse. That is the only plan to state your power and place. Cripple the Ivory secondary care.

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  • agree chand
    but now you must lead to save gp and confront this creature

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  • Aghast to find my own CCG wishes to take on contracting for GPs and implement 7 day working in the process- feels like a betrayal. Here's my arguments against:

    1. Lack of evidence
    Margaret McCartney the GP on BBC's R4 Inside Health was clear that she was unable to find any evidence that the 7 day pilots worked. Three were cited on the programme, two failed and one succeeded and this was about whether they were utilised. The other two closed down due to lack of patients.
    The evidence for a reduction in A&E attendances was not there, in fact the presenter on Inside health said the pilots seemed to have discovered a whole new untapped need, and Richard Vautrey from the BMA called it 'building an extra lane on the motorway'.
    Even the one that succeeded in finding this untapped need will be trimmed next year when the pilot ends, so may not continue to succeed.
    2. Money
    Even the successful one will cost the CCG money when the pilot ends - £1.5m a year. Has there been any demonstration of the savings Sunday opening should bring?
    3. Workload
    What are we gong to STOP doing when we work on Sundays? Was there any guarantee that we will reduce weekday appointments? We absolutely cannot take on more hours
    4. Staff
    has anyone thought about the receptionists and nurses who are going to have to go along with having their weekends disrupted? Shouldn't they have a say?
    5. Recruitment.
    What's the hurry? I reckon we would be one of the very early adopters, the effect on recruitment of us expecting Sudnay working when other areas didn't, I suspect would be dire.
    6. Negotiating tactics
    The BMA and RCGP have both come out this week saying, effectively, this is not a done deal, we need a lot more assurances. Our CCG, by going early are undermining this position.

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  • "Anonymous | Other healthcare professional | 24 June 2015 10:01pm
    Come on BMA your in the last chance saloon; doing something could quite possibly save the profession at this juncture..! "

    You are making the assumption that the BMA is there to protect doctors. It is not. For as long as I can remember the BMA has been explicitly clear in its public statements that it is an ideological movement comitted to the protection of the socialist state-funded and controlled NHS, and it will sacrifice doctors in pursuit of that goal. The BMA will NEVER come up with a plan to save GPs by going private etc because it sees itself as the guardian of the state NHS. The BMA will watch GPs go extinct rather than go private.

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  • A couple of years ago all the GPs in Richmond CCG produced a petition expressing their opposition to the policy put forward by the chair ( a fellow GP). This was followed by a threat of a vote of no confidence, the chair resigned and the policy did not go forward. To be fair, it was about the formation of an integrated care trust and required us to agree, which we did not, so we had a little control.
    If all the GPs in an area disagree, you can get together and pass a vote of no confidence or simply refuse to do anything outside your contract. Sadly there are gPs out ther who will be taken in by this and not stick up for their colleagues ( and in my experience it is rarely he ones who actually perform the task!)

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