GPs have approached patients ahead of tomorrow’s general election to warn them about the current state of general practice.
The Herstmonceux Health Centre in East Sussex said in a letter to all registered patients that they ‘would not usually broach the subject of politics with you’, but added that the doctors and nurses at the practice ‘are all so seriously concerned about the funding, quality of care and staffing implications of the election outcome that we believe we have a duty of care to let you know what is happening to your health service’.
Whilst refraining from urging patients how to vote, the letter highlighted that the NHS ‘had year-on-year cuts that are so severe that this winter the Red Cross declared the healthcare situation in the UK a “humanitarian crisis”‘; that the local CCG ‘has been asked to make further cuts this year, and every year for the next five years’; and that GPs ‘are also being asked to do extra work as other services, like social care, are cut’.
The letter, signed by the GPs and nurses at the practice, concluded: ‘We would like the Government to stop cutting our essential services, and to stop privatising them. We think that a publically owned health service that is there when you need it is one of the bedrocks of our society, and we want to defend it.
‘Whatever you decide to vote, we thank you for your ongoing support and understanding, without which we could not do the job that we do.’
Meanwhile, GPC member and Doncaster LMC medical secretary Dr Dean Eggitt has given his support to the Labour Party, featuring in a leafletting campaign to Yorkshire voters.
The note to voters says: ‘My name is Dr Dean Eggitt and I’m a GP here in Yorkshire. I’m getting in touch with you because I care passionately about our health service, I’m deeply worried about the direction it’s been heading under the Tory government, and fear for its future if we don’t have strong Labour MPs fighting for it here in Yorkshire.’
Dr Eggitt goes on to say that Labour is ‘the only party pledging to give the NHS the money it needs’, and concludes: ‘I hope you’ll put your NHS first on 8 June, and join me in voting Labour.’