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Dr Naomi Beer: ‘GPs are having to defend and justify our very existence’

Dear valued colleagues and patients,

Today, we are marching for our local surgeries. We have shown what it means to stand together. I am so proud that we are able to show the nation who and what we are and what people who work together can achieve.

This is also about the heart of the NHS. It is all about values. The values at the heart of the NHS and of our nation.

What successive governments have done is put corporate values at the heart of our NHS, replacing a language of collaboration, compassion and service for the good of all with the corporate language of competition, service delivery and productivity.

When you set out to achieve something, you first decide on your core values. This determines your goal or function and the structures follow. In the NHS today, this is all the wrong way round. Structures come first and values have to lag behind and fit in somewhere.

This is why GPs in east London and across the country are in the position we find ourselves in today – defending and justifying our very existence because the secretary of state hasn’t the power or possibly even the will to act on our behalf, despite the evident justice of our cause.

So let us hold our heads up high and continue to fight to tell the public what is really happening to their NHS so that the values we treasure can be put back at the very heart of this much loved and fantastic institution.

Naomi Beer, on behalf of the Jubilee Street Practice

Dr Naomi Beer is a GP in Tower Hamlets in east London