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LMC highlights 3% decrease in GP numbers in open letter

A group of GPs in Coventry have written an open letter to highlight the workforce crisis faced by practices that has seen a 3% decrease in GP numbers in their area.

Coventry LMC says that GP practices across Coventry and Rugby are ‘at breaking point’ and desperately need more GPs, practice staff and nurses to meet patient demand.

In an open letter published today, LMC bosses said: ‘We are under unsustainable pressures from a combination of rising workload and falling resources, and are left facing a workforce crisis, with many local doctors unable to offer the services the public want and they want to offer.’

The letter, which was co-signed by the LMC’s committee and 16 members of its constituent surgeries, said that the number of GPs in Coventry had fallen by 3% in recent years and that several established GPs were leaving Coventry to work abroad.

A quarter of the LMC’s GPs were said to be considering leaving the medical profession altogether, while six out of ten were considering early retirement.

The LMC accused the Government of failing to provide ‘the support that local GP practices need to offer their patients the time and care they require’.

They continued: ‘We can either face up to the realities facing GPs and make plans now to meet the growing challenges – or we can bury our heads in the sand and watch this key part of the NHS slide into permanent decline.’

The letter calls on the public to show their support for GPs by writing to their MPs and signing the BMA’s ‘Your GP Cares’ petition.

A major BMA survey earlier this year revealed that six in ten GPs are considering early retirement and more than half say their morale is either ‘low’ or ‘very low’.

Read the letter in full here