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A faulty production line

Mr Cameron, the NHS is not safe in your hands

Dr Naomi Beer explains ’some hard truths’ to the Prime Minister 

Dear Mr Cameron,

I am writing to you as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, because under your watch we are seeing the destruction of what many regard as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the NHS.

You may not have been aware, but whilst you were away in Europe, another conference took place. GPs from across the UK came together to declare a ‘state of emergency’ in primary care and debate what could be done to help the growing number of struggling practices.

GPs are being crushed by workload and punished by soaring indemnity and meaningless inspection regimens. We have a workload and a workforce state of emergency. Access to health care to people in this country is at risk and close to collapse.

The conference last week was our vote of ‘no confidence’ in you and your Government.

And the situation is being made worse by irresponsible rhetoric from your ministers.

The whole health service is at risk as you push for a ‘seven-day service’ without the required 40% increase in financial or workforce resource. This is what the junior doctors are trying to tell you. That is why they are protesting on the streets at your new unsafe contract. This is not about politics, but about people. About your Government’s will to maintain primary care and a universal healthcare service.

The conference last week was our vote of ‘no confidence’ in you and your Government.

Here is our evidence; you make the sick, the poor and the young pay for this country’s debt, you won’t raise taxes to fund a service that is universally recognised as one of the most efficient, effective and fair in the world, you won’t keep the NHS out of TTIP, you systematically strangle resources to the NHS and primary care in particular, you let excellent practices and services go to the wall whilst letting private companies who can’t make money out of their NHS contracts walk away from them without redress. You misrepresent evidence to suit your ideologies and treat NHS staff with contempt, undermine them, blame them, starve them, beat them but occasionally turn and promise them ‘something nice if you behave’. In any other profession this would be called institutionalised abuse. You and your Government have abused GPs and abused our NHS.

And you appear blind and deaf to what is now happening around you. As Dr Chaand Nagpaul thundered from the LMC conference platform, ‘It’s not safe!’ You are wasting fine doctors and nurses who are burned out, shattered, sick and exiting. It’s not safe for anyone - GPs and patients. This is why GPs will, if it comes to it, tender mass resignation.

Both the fault and the remedy is at your door. Money is needed but money alone will not get them back. Prime Minister, confidence is the precious resource you need to regain.

Come to my practice and speak to my patients and I will show you how. But I urge you to be open to hearing some hard truths, because the health service is not currently safe in your hands and your legacy could be the start of its destruction.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Naomi Beer

GP in Tower Hamlets 

Support Naomi

If you would like to co-sign this letter with Dr Beer, then please place your name and where you practise in the comments box below. All names will be included with the letter when it is sent to 10 Downing Street later this month. 


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Readers' comments (197)

  • Doug Pollock
    Locum GP Leeds

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  • Well Naomi for your brave and honest stance especially the bit about forcing out hard working practices by draining them off their finances and private companies walking away Scott free

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  • Dr Pam Martin
    GP partner
    London SE145HD

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  • Fantastically true
    Dr.Pamela Barcella Salaried GP Ipswich Suffolk

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  • Dr Paolo Fargnoli, Buckden and Little Paxton Surgery, st Neots, CAMBRIDGESHIRE

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  • It is the whole NHS that is being undermined, undersold and sold out. Health Visitors have been shipped to commisioned public health before being tendered out to the cheapest bidder. From seeking out need to tick box care in the absence of any partnership agencies. Fed up health visitor, ex practice nurse, Oxfordshire.

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  • Agreed the NHS is not safe. This is old news. The error doctors are making is to try and keep the impossible alive instead of accepting the reality that any modern healthcare service that provides high quality care MUST be partially funded by patients in certain areas. The harsh reality that needs to be accepted is that the NHS is not the jewel in the crown but an out of date , out of touch institution. We are all more concerned with boasting that it exists rather than working towards a more workable funding structure. Free at the point of entry healthcare only leads to even less of anyone having any concept of needing to take responsibility for their own bodies instead of relying on taxpayers to bail them out when the consequences of their poor lifestyle choices kick in later in life. The NHS is a laughing stock not the envy of the world. Wake up and smell the coffee, GET OVER it and move on!!

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  • Another inconvenient truth. Absolutely how it is.

    Dr. Elizabeth Agnew GP Cheshire

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  • andrew Field

    Dr Andrew Field
    York Medical Group

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  • medicine tastes awful

    Unsafe working practices and the role of the GMC

    The GMC is discharged with the responsibility of protecting the public. GMC must stand up and inform the public and Mr Hunt such unsafe working hours is not acceptable in the interests of the public.

    The BMA leadership should lobby the GMC. Common on!!!

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