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GPC chair calls for 2.5% increase in funding with warnings that NHS is in 'danger of collapse'

The leader of the GPC has taken the fight to the Government in the opening speech of the LMCs Conference, warning that the NHS is in danger of ‘collapsing’ unless there is at least a 2.5% increase in funding for general practice.

In a passionate speech to delegates in York, he said GPs are facing a ‘quadruple whammy’ of  a crisis in workload, workforce, premises and morale.

He also criticised the failure of CCGs to commit funding to support GPs in delivering care for elderly patients, and launched a fresh assault on NHS 111, saying it was a ‘disgrace’ that patients have to endure a ‘litany’ of questions from a computer algorithm.

He said: ‘After years of devaluing our worth, the crux of my argument to Government since I took office, is for politicians to grasp that general practice is the solution, not the problem. That increasing the proportion of NHS spend into general practice by just an initial 2.5%, will translate to a one third increase in our resources and which could transform our ability to provide care that patients need, and reap huge cost efficiencies in a cash-strapped NHS.’

Receiving a rapturous reception, Dr Nagpaul added: ‘Let me warn those that continue in their quest to denigrate us. Continue to put off younger doctors into becoming GPs, continue to accelerate those leaving the profession, and you certainly won’t have the last laugh when you won’t have a GP to turn to in times of need, and when the NHS collapses because its very building blocks have imploded.’

‘But we won’t just roll over and let this happen. General practice matters too much to you and me, but more importantly to our patients who fundamentally depend on us.’

He warned that GPs were suffering from ‘extreme’ levels of stress.

‘We have the quadruple whammy of a crisis in workload, workforce, premises and morale. Last year’s GP worklife survey by Manchester University showed GPs suffering extreme levels of stress - the highest since records began, and a sharp rise in those intending to retire early. The government can’t argue with these findings, since they themselves commissioned this report, but conveniently fail to mention it anywhere. And what’s NHS England’s cure? To shamefully threaten withdrawing occupational health services for over-stressed GPs and their staff when they need them most.

With regards to NHS 111, Dr Nagpaul stressed the need for the out-of-hours call centres to be staffed by clinicians rather than lay call handlers.

‘But if you really want to improve things, then start with the first point of contact a patient makes out of hours which is a phone call to NHS 111. It’s a disgrace that patients have to endure a litany of questions from a computer algorithm about what they don’t suffer with, rather than what they do, with GPs receiving two pages of meaningless negative findings rather than why the patient actually sought help.’

‘Patients should speak to a clinician at times of urgent medical need, not a lay person guided by electronic robotic questions that have no grasp of their complex, multiple or mental health issues.’

In conclusion, he said: ‘The Government must recognise that starving general practices of cash, is starving services for patients. And it’s patients who suffer.’

Readers' comments (16)

  • We do need to get behind the GPC. whatever the shortcomings we need to unite behind a core message.

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  • Trouble is The Daily Mail, Jeremy Hunt's mouthpiece and fanged enforcer will reactivate its endlessm drivel and corrupted facts about General Practice. Multi-millionaire Journalists like Amanda Platell from The Daily Mail (who live in Multi-million pound London penthouses) will rant and foam at the mouth, cunningly ,and maliciously misinforming the general public that the money is for GP pay rises rather than explaining that it is for PATIENT CARE.

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  • It would be lovely to hear him acknowledge the financial crisis in the hospitals too - it's not only general practice that is about to fall over.

    2/3rds of all Trusts are posting deficit budgets, and some have needed emergency loans just to pay the electricity bill. This is a real crisis and the completely unacceptable result of this crazy market. Meanwhile, NHS England squanders £3million on reprocuring NHS 111. When is the government going to wake up to the fact that the whole health service is on the brink of collapse

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  • let Paul Dacre, the multi-millionaire genius and Daily Mail Editor/chief "enforcer" to Jeremy Hunt take charge of the NHS. With his genius and The Daily Mail being the "all knowing eye" of the world, everything should run smoothly. GPs could be threatened or even worse until they capitulate and all their Bentleys and "National Trust sized" houses repossessed and sold for Tory party funding.

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  • Vinci Ho

    For a long time, medical professionals have the tendency to avoid criticising government and want to be 'clean' in hands not touching politics. Truth is politics is clouding over us everyday .We need to know it well and defend .
    Those with no virtues holding high positions in a hierarchy spread evil through the most. We have a duty to check the balance and stop the evil spreading.

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  • 2.5 % won't even cover inflation - we need to go from 8% of NHS budget to 11 % . This is a 37 % increase - and a more realistic figure . This will restore previous levels of funding . If we need to increase it further then 40 % may be the target . Don't get bamboozled by previous cuts and inflation . When the banks needed bailing out the money was found. But then you only have to look at who the Tory ministers went to school with . Jobs for the boys . Read the ragged trousered philanthropist it's an eye opener.

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  • GP partner at 3.03pm - when the banks needed bailing out it was done by Gordon Brown & Co so it is disingenuous to try and say it was the Tories looking after their school chums.
    If it wasn't for Gordon Brown's spectacular mishandling of government finances, public spending would not be in this mess. Funny how labour supporters quickly forget it and try to blame it on Tories by cheap smears......

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  • The government must be shaking in their boots! I assume if a 2.5% increase has been called for it will already be in the post!!!

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  • anonymous practice manager needs to read some financial history -Whoops is a good start .

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  • There is not going to be any increase in funding so why hope for 2 .5 percent.
    No one wants to pay gps anything, end of story.
    This is historic,
    What should be happening is that care should be being transferred to secondary care as quickly as possible until the government/ civil sevirce/ treasury realise that the more investment you put in primary care the better health care outcomes and reduced costs and better satisfactions,

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