The wellbeing of GPs must be prioritised in future NHS reforms, GP leaders have told MPs scrutinising plans for upcoming health and care reforms.
RCGP chair Professor Martin Marshall told the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee hearing that GPs are not even talking about the upcoming Health and Social Care Bill because their ‘pressing issue’ is their own mental health.
The BMA, which also presented evidence to the committee, said the Bill was ‘the wrong bill at the wrong time’, with clinicians unable to ‘engage’ due to the ongoing pandemic.
Professor Marshall told MPs: ‘Morale in general practices is at rock bottom, we read about it in the newspapers every day, surveys we have conducted show 60% of GPs have seen their mental health deteriorate significantly in the last year’.
And Professor Marshall said that because of the pressing issue of mental health in general practice staff, ‘if you speak to GPs, nobody is talking about the bill’.
Meanwhile, BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said it is ‘hard to grasp the scale’ of the care backlog in the NHS and that the ‘changes have occurred when the profession has not been able to engage’ in inputting their views.
The new Health and Care Bill, which includes powers to remove CCGs and replace them with new integrated care systems (ICSs), was been brought to Parliament in the next step towards becoming law in July.
The proposals, first published in a white paper in February, will see ICSs placed on a statutory footing so they become responsible for commissioning and bringing together local NHS and local government services, such as those covering social care and mental health.
Two statutory bodies, an integrated care board and an integrated care partnership, will be formed – with only one GP being required on the board, according to NHS England guidance.