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Gold, incentives and meh

We must convince graduates that general practice is 'exciting', says Ashworth

Exclusive Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth has said Labour must convince medical graduates that general practice is a 'really exciting' profession, in an interview with Pulse.

Mr Ashworth told Pulse he respects GP trainees and that a Labour government wants more, following the party's recent announcement to expand the number of GP training places by 40% - to 5,000 a year.

The Labour MP for Leicester South said he knows the ‘tremendous pressures’ GPs face but added he wants to send a message that general practice is 'hugely rewarding.'

He said: ‘We’ve got to convince medical graduates that general practice is really exciting. We’ve got a big agenda on health inequalities. We’ve got a big agenda to really tackle these differences in life expectancies in our poorer and more deprived areas.

‘Given that it is going to be such a focus of mine as health secretary, really putting wellbeing at the heart of our policy agenda, I hope we’ll be able to show from a national level that general practice is the place to be. I’m not able to deliver my health inequalities agenda unless I’ve got general practice fully part of that.

‘From my point of view, I hope we’re sending a message that general practice is hugely rewarding. We respect you and we want more of you.'

The Labour party has pledged a £2.5 billion investment into primary care estate, alongside increasing the number of GP training places in England to 5,000 a year - up from the current number of around 3,500.

Mr Ashworth acknowledged the measures will take time to have an impact, but said the party's pledge to invest £1 billion into public health services will also help relieve the burden on general practice.

He said: 'A big capital investment has been announced today of £2.5 billion to upgrade facilities but I know things are going to take time after ten years of squeeze of budgets and cutbacks to turn things around.

'Public health has been decimated in recent years but if you can get public health resolved, as it were, you can prevent people getting ill in the first place. That is going to have an impact on the pressure on general practice.'

Regarding the pensions tax issue, Mr Ashworth said he will 'urgently' try to resolve the pensions issue that GPs are facing.

He said: 'I hear it from GPs all the time, and consultants in the provider sector. Of course, the way in which the tapering applies where you do an extra shift and you’re hit with a tax bill, we need to review it. If I’m honest, if I came up with a solution from my back pocket now, you wouldn’t believe me. This is very complex.'

He added that Labour, if elected, would 'look at this urgently'.

The Conservatives recently pledged 6,000 new doctors in general practice by 2024/25.

Readers' comments (46)

  • A pig wearing lipstick is still a pig. The job in its current form is shite, thanks to government regulations and interference

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  • ‘Today I checked 100 letters full of poor handovers, had to deal with 5 requests for me to refer onwards and respond to 3 ‘referral rejections’. It was MEGA!’

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  • Vinci Ho

    Calm down , folks .Let me try to decipher his encrypted message (1)He said: ‘We’ve got to convince medical graduates that general practice is really exciting. ‘
    Punchline:Convince is another word for ‘lie to ‘😂
    (2) ‘Given that it is going to be such a focus of mine as health secretary, really putting wellbeing at the heart of our policy agenda, I hope we’ll be able to show from a national level that general practice is the place to be. I’m not able to deliver my health inequalities agenda unless I’ve got general practice fully part of that.’
    Punchline: If I go down as the health secretary who fail to deliver , you guys go down with me 😈
    (3) ‘From my point of view, I hope we’re sending a message that general practice is hugely rewarding. We respect you and we want more of you.'
    Punchline : hugely rewarding never means in financial terms. 😗
    (4)’A big capital investment has been announced today of £2.5 billion to upgrade facilities but I know things are going to take time after ten years of squeeze of budgets and cutbacks to turn things around.’
    Punchline: do not blame me if it takes another ten years to turn things around but please keep voting for Labour 😃
    (5)’I hear it from GPs all the time, and consultants in the provider sector. Of course, the way in which the tapering applies where you do an extra shift and you’re hit with a tax bill, we need to review it. If I’m honest, if I came up with a solution from my back pocket now, you wouldn’t believe me. This is very complex.'
    He added that Labour, if elected, would 'look at this urgently'.
    Punchline : It is indeed something very complex and I can only keep looking at it . Boom ! Oh no , it is exploding and I have to distance myself away from it now but I am still looking at it 😅🤣😂

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  • @Vinci Ho 7:53pm.

    Spot on....thanks for breaking it down for simple minds like me!

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  • Never heard of him before.
    Saw him interviewed on TV tonight.
    He came across as one of those ‘school leavers on computers’ that NHS24/111 use.
    He also came across as a highly buffed idiot. Not much use to anyone wanting medical care, I’m afraid.

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  • MDT meeting
    PCN meeting
    MCP meeting
    Safeguarding meeting
    CCG meeting
    A load of mental health patients with no backup
    Finish you career unable to take blood read Xrays ECGs or risks.

    Whats not to like!

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  • General Practice is exciting in the same way that getting chased by a rabid dog is exciting.

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  • Took Early Retirement

    You're all so NEGATIVE! It can be a wonderful, rewarding and well-paid job.

    Just not in the UK.

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  • "GPs' working conditions are 'lonely' and 'damage' patient relationship, warns GMC" - with headlines like this good luck. PULSE seems to like shooting itself in the a***.

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  • this is a man who has never worked in the NHS, in fact has worked for the labour party all his working life either as a researcher or an MP, so I would consider as having never done a proper job in his life either, advising us how to suck eggs. i would suggest he works in the NHS for a year and see what he suggest then. Otherwise he is just talking out of his woefully inexperienced anal canal. In his BBC interview he laughed at the suggestion that NHS staff would get a 32 hour working week in the next 10 years and it would not happen. Glad to see he's on our side then.

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