General practice is often referred to as the cornerstone of the NHS; the foundation on which a world-renowned health service is built enabling the delivery of high quality care, free at the point of access, to the whole population. It is inherently flexible and adaptable and has always risen to meet new challenges including increasing demand, and keeping up with a steady stream of ever evolving regulatory arrangements and management system changes.
However, it has had to do this against the backdrop of an acknowledged decade of underfunding and a failure by Government to address the urgent challenges facing primary and community care services. As a result, the foundation on which the NHS sits today is cracking and can no longer withstand the weight it is expected to bear.
In response to rising pressure and growing concern over patient safety, GPs across England participated in a survey about their willingness to close patient registration lists to maintain safe workload levels. The BMA found that 54% of practices said they would be willing to temporarily suspend patient registration, whilst 44% said they would be prepared to close their list altogether.
With an insufficient workforce, a funding plan that is no longer sustainable, a growth in population and a sea-change in the level of complex cases being presented, urgent steps need to be taken to save general practice. The health and wellbeing of our nation depends upon it.
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GP committee UK chair Richard Vautrey
The BMA’s case to save general practice
The following key areas must be addressed to turn around the current crisis facing general practice:
Saving general practice
With an insufficient workforce, a funding plan that is no longer sustainable, a growth in population and a sea-change in the level of complex cases being presented, urgent steps need to be taken to save general practice.