This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Read the latest issue online

CAMHS won't see you now

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. 


Rate this article  (4.62 average user rating)

Click to rate

  • 1 star out of 5
  • 2 stars out of 5
  • 3 stars out of 5
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • 5 stars out of 5

0 out of 5 stars

Readers' comments (197)

  • Rogue1

    Succinctly put.
    Dr A Entwistle

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Lucy Douglas locum gp Yorkshire.

    Thank you for writing this. As a profession we have to be united. before retiring leaving or emigrating please stand up and fight

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The control of the whole of the public sector including NHS is now under the total and absolute control of the Treasury, IT'S ABOUT COSTS NOTHING ELSE!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Kris Kelly GP Edenbridge

    Sad to say this letter represents GP's concerns.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I agree with the authors sentiment. What I believe will happen if the Tories get another term, will be the total destruction of the NHS as a free service and replaced with an American Style Insurance led model. P Soltysiak Retired RN

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Agree absolutely, Dr Sally Johnston.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Lidia Hristeva/locum paediatrician

    Supporting Naomi.

    Negotiation for years, then imposing contract on junior Doctors, then launching enquiries into suiciadal rate amongst Doctors and failing the public NHS service, then talks on humanity - a fiasco..

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I agree. Well said! I think General Practice is now so unsafe after the recent reforms have meant the splitting up of providers and lack of continuity across any other form of care provider. Only GP's have to try and sort it out for each patient as a whole and not just the one pathway part. It is hard to even read all the various faxes/letters going to various different providers for one patient and who can't communicate directly in 10 minutes for some patients let alone sort it all out. "Just go and see your Gp and they will do it/refer you/prescribe it/arrange a test...!" For example, even every district nurse contact is now a several page form to complete and then a fax- multiply that by millions of patients and that is one example of why we are drowning.
    GP's should immediately apply the "Emergency Brake" and insist on 20 min apps immediately to make it safer. If waiting times increase then that demonstrates clearly the underfunding but why should we be forced to practice unsafely EVERY day because of under resourcing and the politics in Primary, Secondary and Community Care Providers as they are all split up destabilising everything.
    10 minutes is no longer safe.
    Apply the "Emergency Brake" please.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Well said!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Totally agree. Well done

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10 results per page20 results per page50 results per page

Have your say