This site is intended for health professionals only

Crisis, what crisis? (Redux)

Crisis, what crisis? (Redux)

A week is a long time in politics. In seven days, we lost a health secretary, who went to challenge for leadership and dropped out, gained a new health secretary, lost a primary care minister, who was also replaced, with the new primary care minister appearing before the health select committee to say that there is no crisis in general practice. And breathe.

I can’t quite get my head round James Morris’s assertion about no crisis in general practice. I understand his party has been in power for 12 years, but how could he deny the evidence? A recruitment crisis, GPs leaving the profession, workload leading to 12-hour days, patients continually complaining of lack of access and all the other things that he could glean from a week of looking at PulseToday. Even Jeremy Hunt has faced up to this fact, and he was one of the main instigators for the state we are in.

Regardless of who you think is to blame for the crisis (GPs for the right-wing media, the Government for anyone with an ounce of sense) no one denies there is a crisis. By failing to acknowledge the obvious fact, all Mr Morris has done is rile the profession – and maybe even the public.

So why is he claiming there is no crisis? His explanation is one that worries me. ‘We do have the tools and the means to be able to address those issues,’ he said. ‘There are no quick fixes, but there are lots of elements in the changing landscape in primary care and the approach the Government is taking is designed to address that.’

If they really do have the tools and means, then why haven’t they implemented them yet? The fact that he thinks that the measures being taken to tinker round the edges – such as multi-disciplinary working, or PCNs in general – will solve the crisis, or whatever he wants to call it.

This might just be a case of a new minister not wanting to admit the truth. But it is a worrying start. A failure to face up to the problem doesn’t bode well for solving it.

Jaimie Kaffash is editor of Pulse. Follow him on Twitter @jkaffash or email him at



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

Patrufini Duffy 13 July, 2022 9:25 pm

Definitely. This really was a historical wodge of waffle, winging it and who on earth is doing what, let’s just make it up wholesome rubbish:

Mr Marvellous 14 July, 2022 8:36 am

Jesus wept.

They couldn’t even bring themselves to say the word. (GP Panel member(s) included )

How refreshing would it have been for someone on the panel to say “Yes, there’s a crisis. We need to fix it.”

This, in case anybody was under any illusion, is the reason why GP is finished.

David Church 14 July, 2022 10:50 am

Even the GMC, before one can be free to practice again, insists that a doctor must show recognition of the problem and intention to remediate it.
If the health secretary is in denial, then he will be unready to remediate it, and so is unfit to continue in post.
Pity the GMC will not act on this ‘lie’ or ‘exageration’ in the same way as if it was a doctor practicing the health minister’s job.
Or will they?

Vinci Ho 15 July, 2022 6:58 am

The other incidental anomaly is the Office of National Statistics(ONS)’s report on rise in GDP for May contributed by rise in GP appointments and travel activities.
To me , while one can immediately argue the importance of recognising the role of GP in contributing to our economy( some are understandably sceptical about this)the government and politicians are to become even more obsessed in squeezing more appointments(particularly face to face because of involving patient’s journey to and fro surgery generating economic activities)from a seriously exasperated GP workforce. And denial of a GP crisis is only the face value of this underlying agenda .
For those who are representing us on negotiation table, please use your wit very carefully in looking at this matter .
And by the way , there is indeed a swathe of reports on this rise in GDP linked to GP appointments.
‘’GDP is the sum of all goods and services produced in the economy, including sectors such as health, education and government. The economic contribution of GP visits and other health services where there is no market price is estimated by statisticians by counting activity.’’ quote from Guardian

Decorum Est 15 July, 2022 3:55 pm

‘Morris was privately educated at Nottingham High School,[6] an independent school for boys in his home city of Nottingham, followed by the University of Birmingham, where he obtained a degree in English Literature.[citation needed] He then undertook Postgraduate research at Wadham College, Oxford.[citation needed] He later studied at Cranfield School of Management.(cit needed)

Another ‘humanities scholar’ running the country?