More than 10,000 people have signed a BMA petition demanding that GP practices receive the funding they require.
The petition calls on the UK Government ‘to provide the funding and commitment needed to urgently increase the number of GPs, practice nurses and other practice staff and to improve the premises in which they work’.
It says this ‘will help GP practices in England to meet the growing needs of people in our communities, providing the care we and our families need’.
BMA GP Committee chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: ‘The fact that more than 10,000 people have signed our petition in less than a month goes to show how important a well-resourced GP service is to our patients, and the Government needs to listen and take action.’
However, he argued that the BMA should ‘not have to have a petition about England needing a properly funded GP service’.
‘Patients should be getting the level of care they deserve and GP practices must be properly resourced to give it.’
Dr Vautrey also reiterated that GPs have continually seen patients in person throughout the pandemic, even though it has been made ‘increasingly hard’ due to ‘rocketing workloads, chronic staff shortages and a lack of funding’.
He said: ‘We’re acutely aware of how frustrating this is for patients who just want timely access to their GP practice, whether that’s a telephone or face-to-face consultation; we are equally exasperated with the current situation, and the Government’s so far futile attempts to make any difference.
‘That’s why it’s so important that we, along with our patients, continue to shout from the rooftops about what general practice needs, and even more people put their names to our petition.’
It comes as the BMA said that GPs are struggling to give ‘safe care’ due to ‘Government failings’.
And in an opening speech to the BMA’s Annual Representative Meeting on Monday, council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said doctors will ‘not accept’ a return to the pre-pandemic chronically underfunded NHS.