BMA and Secretary of State for Health discuss abuse crisis in the NHS and urgent need for reduction in bureaucracy for GPs

by BMA media team

Press release from the BMA.

Location: UK
Published: Friday 24 September 2021

The first meeting between Sajid Javid and Chair of BMA GP committee Dr Richard Vautrey took place yesterday.

Dr Vautrey said:

“This emergency meeting with the Secretary of State allowed us to make it crystal clear how unacceptable the increasing abuse against hardworking and dedicated GPs and the general practice workforce is, fuelled by a damaging and demoralising misinformation campaign in some parts of the media, as well as comments from politicians.

“We highlighted the serious damage to morale that the current anti-GP rhetoric is having on the whole workforce and how this is leading to verbal abuse on a daily basis and serious incidents of physical attack. Clear actions were needed, and the BMA called on him to urgently:

  1. Provide clear public backing for GPs, recognising the huge pressure they are under.
  2. Invest urgently in primary care and remove unnecessary bureaucracy.
  3. Support increased sentencing for those who assault healthcare and emergency workers.
  4. Commit to working with the BMA on a national campaign to stop the abuse of NHS staff.

“We made it very clear that the Government has to, unequivocally, explain to the public why healthcare workers are still working within the constraints of infection, protection and control measures. We also said it should be a priority that the Government has to explain to the public that more patients than pre-pandemic have been able to access their GPs, whether that’s via the phone, online consultations or in person.

“The Secretary of State must confront the reality of unsustainable workload pressures, poor premises, the impact of the care backlog and secondary care work transfer to general practice and we urged him to trust practices to deliver services to patients without the rigidity, bureaucracy and burden of QOF or unnecessary CQC inspections. We also called for far more action to enable practices to expand their workforce and for the Government to deliver on its commitment of 6,000 more GPs. Words are not enough, we now need urgent action.”


Notes to editors

The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.