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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)

  • National Hopeless Service

    Dr Roger Neal
    Bedfordshire

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  • Naomi, full support from your nursing team at Jubilee Street Practice. Proud to have been your colleague for 20 years, lets hope we make another 20

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  • Dr Peter J Gordon, Consultant NHS Psychiatrist, Scotland.

    GMC number 3468861

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  • Dr Amy Small, Prestonpans Group Practice, East Lothian

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  • I completely agree. Primary or secondary care, we are all one profession. Anisur Rahman, Professor of Rheumatology, UCL

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  • Agree fully.. Although the other cause is in the current NHS Act.This was based on political dogma and the fatally flawed idea that private capitalism can profit from a freely delivered humane public service .

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  • Good luck and best wishes, Naomi.

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  • Nhsfatcat

    Simon Ruffle
    GP
    Twyford
    Berkshire

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  • Dr Robin Warshafsky, MD, CCFP, MRCGP, FCFP, Deputy Medical Director, Integrated Care 24, not for profit OOH provider.

    I am a Canadian immigrant and have been working in the UK for less than ten years. When I arrived, I marvelled at the NHS, calling Canada's system, NHS-lite. I now, sadly, fear for the NHS.

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  • Completely agree. These are the factors that made me leave early.
    Alison Lloyd
    Ex partner
    Cross Deep Surgery
    Twickenham
    Retired completely at 55.

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