This site is intended for health professionals only

LMC-arranged general practice ‘crisis’ protest draws 150 GPs

LMC-arranged general practice ‘crisis’ protest draws 150 GPs

Around 150 West Midlands GPs gathered in Birmingham city centre on Saturday to raise awareness among the public of the ‘crisis’ in general practice.

GP leaders described the event as a ‘peaceful demonstration’ which called on the Government to take steps to ‘save general practice’, such as expanding the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) to allow recruitment of GPs.

The event was organised by West Midlands LMCs who coordinated placards, t-shirts and leaflets to hand out to the public, which encouraged them to write to their MP about the issue.

South Staffordshire LMC chair Dr Manu Agrawal described attendees as a ‘group of West Midlands GPs who are basically fed up’ and want to ‘highlight the cause’.

He told Pulse: ‘What we want is a plan from the Government to be able to retain GPs which is not lip service, which is an actual plan that works. We want fair funding – we’re not asking for a pay rise, but we’re asking for fair funding for general practice, because we’ve had a 20% reduction in our budget since 2016.

‘And we’re also asking to allow us to utilise the ARRS funding individually at practices for our needs, so we can recruit GPs and nurses. We are in a paradoxical crisis where there are GPs out there but actually they don’t have any jobs.’

The LMCs had expected 100 GPs to attend the event on Saturday, but Dr Agrawal confirmed today that roughly 150 turned up, with members of the public bringing the total to around 200 people throughout the day.

GPs held placards which said ‘no general practice, no NHS’ and called for and end to practice closures.

Walsall LMC medical secretary Dr Uzma Ahmad told Pulse that the event was ‘really successful’ and they saw ‘a lot of support’ from the public.

She told Pulse: ‘We were giving out leaflets, we had nobody refusing it – actually, people in the town were saying they are 200% with us. So it was a really positive response – I did not have any negative response.’

‘The people we spoke to were just very supportive, because what we really want is more access for patients by being able to recruit more GPs – the workforce that the patients want to see. The public does understand what we are talking about,’ Dr Ahmad added.

The leaflets handed out at the event said: ‘We are a group of West Midlands GPs calling for Government to fix the crisis in general practice. Without urgent action we won’t survive.

‘Our message is louder and stronger when we speak together. So, what can you do?’

A QR code on the leaflet allowed members of the public to send a pre-drafted template to their MP to help ‘save our surgeries’.

In response, the Government has highlighted its efforts to increase GP training places and take pressure off general practice via schemes such as Pharmacy First.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: ‘GPs are at the heart of communities and we hugely value them. Thanks to their hard work, there are now over 60 million more appointments per year compared to 2019.

‘More than 140,000 doctors now work in the NHS in England – a record number – and almost half of all GP appointments now take place on the same day they were booked.’

Last week, the BMA announced that it will ballot GP partners next month on ‘collective action’, and the union has now revealed plans to start action on 1 August.



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

So the bird flew away 20 May, 2024 1:19 pm

You can count on Brummies to take the initiative and do the right thing even if the BMA is clueless.

Dave Haddock 20 May, 2024 2:50 pm

Fortunately nobody appears to have noticed this bunch of entitled half-wits; there’s usually a few nutters wandering around the city centre, shouting at people, though usually of the religious sort.
GP now more money for less work than anytime since the 1980s.

David Church 22 May, 2024 12:25 pm

I think it is the DoH that has arranged the crisis, not the LMC.
So if GOs are providing over 60 million more appointments (that is about 1 each for all of us) per year, why is the DoH paying so much less for the sevrice, instead of paying GPs more?
Time for GPs to work to their contracts, instead of doing more and more and more each year for free.