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LMC letter to patients: ‘General practice is in crisis’

General Practice in Crisis: A Statement from Coventry LMC

Dear patient,

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Coventry GPs are aware that some patients are finding it increasingly difficult to get the appointments and services they need from us, and feel you should be made aware of the reasons.

Over the past few years, successive governments have reduced the investment in general practice from around 10% of the NHS budget to nearer 7 %.

In spite of this reduction in funding we still provide 90% of consultations carried out in the NHS. There is access to GP services 24 hours, seven days a week and the demand to see GPs is rising dramatically. There are currently 340 million GP consultations a year, an increase of 40 million in the last five years.

This has not been matched by an increase in GP and staff numbers or an expansion in the infrastructure. Added to this we are expected to take on more and more work previously carried out in hospitals, and are obliged to attend meetings with the CCGs, NHS England management and spend hours preparing for and meeting the CQC. All of these mean less time to see our patients.

In addition, we are faced with huge difficulties in recruiting new doctors and nurses to work in general practice. Currently there is a shortfall of about 10,000 GPs across the country. It is impossible to see how this shortfall can be addressed when it takes a minimum of ten years to train a GP.

In short general practice is in crisis.

We simply want you to know that we are aware of the problems you have accessing some services and that we are working as hard as we can to provide those services. We hope you will bear with us as we strive to continue to provide quality general practice across the city.



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Readers' comments (6)

  • There's a paragraph missing: " stop bothering us with conditions your granny could take care of , please"

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  • encouraging to see some, long overdue, public comment on the elephant in the GP room.

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  • Well written and need to send to all the patients.

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  • Azeem Majeed

    It's a good letter.

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  • Politicians have been warned about this for years on end, probably as early as year 2000, when NHS was promised 5000 extra midwives, and extra District nurses, whose numbers have diminished year by year. Politicians were warned about, early retirement Of GPs,and a cohort of GPs in their mid sixties. So what are the Politicians going to do about it? There aren't enough Doctors to introduce private medicine for the General Population. Why haven't politicians the guts to make long term policies, instead of short-termism, just to gain or not lose votes ? By now we could have had a six lane M25 ( not agreed upon when first mooted in the late 70's or so ), A HS2 or even HS3,( price going up for every year of delay ) and several extra runways around our major cities,( still waiting decision about Heathrow after how many years, and expensive "consultations?) and enough housing to have prevented the monstrous rise in house prices. Failure of General Practice = short-sighted and selfish self-promoting Politicians.

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  • comment @ on....more than enough resources to go round if people were to stop bothering us with trivialities

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