The BMA in the North East has written to the Conservative Hartlepool MP, Jill Mortimer, over her recent campaign calling for more face-to-face GP appointments which fails to acknowledge the huge pressures GPs in the region are under.
In the letter, the chair of the BMA North East regional council, Dr George Rae, voices concern over the campaign which, the BMA fears is out of touch with the reality faced by local GPs and risks placing even further pressure by setting unrealistic expectations of what they can deliver.
Dr Rae writes: “We have noted your campaign across Hartlepool to increase patient access to GP services – a laudable aim which we would of course support. However, I am afraid to say that this campaign is further damaging the morale of local GPs as it so far fails to acknowledge the huge pressures facing general practice across the region and indeed the country.”
He adds: “GPs are looking to local MPs during these challenging times for their support and for recognition of the underlying issues that are impacting patient care.”
The letter outlines the serious constraints that general practice is under as it notes that “despite the Government’s promise to recruit an additional 6000 GPs by 2024; we now actually have the equivalent of almost 2000 fewer full time GPs compared to September 2015 which is simply not sustainable.”
As representatives of GPs working on the ground in the North East, the BMA is calling on MPs and other local health leaders for better engagement to discuss how services can be improved, including the need for much-needed long term investment and an effective workforce strategy to address the challenges in general practice.
Notes to editors
- Letter from Dr George Rae to Jill Mortimer MP attached.
- Jill Mortimer MP Hartlepool campaign.
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