If you continue without changing your settings, we’ll assume you’re happy to receive all cookies from the BMA website. Find out more about cookies
When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalised web experience.
Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.
These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms.
You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.
These cookies are required
These cookies allow us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information we collect is anonymous unless you actively provide personal information to us.
If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.
These cookies allow a website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you're in) and tailor the website to provide enhanced features and content for you.
For example, they can be used to remember certain log-in details, changes you've made to text size, font and other parts of pages that you can customise. They may also be used to provide services you've asked for such as watching a video or commenting on a blog. These cookies may be used to ensure that all our services and communications are relevant to you. The information these cookies collect cannot track your browsing activity on other websites.
Without these cookies, a website cannot remember choices you've previously made or personalise your browsing experience meaning you would have to reset these for every visit. In addition, some functionality may not be available if this category is switched off.
Our websites sometimes integrate with other companies’ sites. For example, we integrate with social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, to make it easier for you to share what you have read. These sites place their own cookies on your browser as a result of us including their icons and ‘like’ or ‘share’ buttons on our sites.
It may be a new year but 2018 has started with familiar headlines.
The NHS is under growing pressure and, despite the hard work and dedication of NHS staff in GP surgeries, community teams and hospitals, many services are struggling to cope. One example of this was the suggestion by one CCG (clinical commissioning group) that GPs and nurses could be called on to attend patients who had fallen when an ambulance was unable to do so. You can read comments about this from BMA GPs committee clinical and prescribing lead Andrew Green.
I made clear in interviews this week on BBC Look North and BBC Radio York that this crisis has been repeatedly predicted and is a direct result of a failure during the last decade to invest sufficiently to meet the needs of a rising population and the growing number of older, frail patients.
At the end of December, NHS England provided CCGs with an additional £20m to be used to fund GP appointments and other measures to provide extra capacity during the next three months. It’s important that local medical committees and practices discuss with their CCGs how this new funding is used and how it could help to relieve some of the workload pressures on practices. However, while the money is welcome, the reality is we need long-term recurrent investment, not short-term fixes, to resolve the crisis we are all experiencing.
Read more about Saving General Practice
Read my comments about the advice from NHS England to hospitals in England to defer elective inpatient care until 31 January to free up capacity, and the impact this will have on GPs.
Investing in the general practice workforce
One aim for 2018, and highlighted in Saving General Practice, must be to turn around the GP workforce crisis.
We do not have anywhere near enough GPs in the country and the numbers are heading in the wrong direction. With more GPs and a wider primary care team we can provide a more sustainable primary care service to the public, which in turn has tremendous benefits across the healthcare system. It is important CCGs are made to see the value of investing in the general practice workforce immediately.
Read BMA GPC England executive committee member Krishna Kasaraneni's blog about the need for CCGs to invest in the GP workforce
Challenging misleading headlines
Following a front-page story in The Times, which claimed some GPs are drawing pensions that would imply earnings of £700,000, I wrote an article in response making it clear that most GPs are far more preoccupied with ‘the struggling state of general practice as they try to cope through another winter than with the pay packets reported’, and went on to say that: 'In reality, most GPs who work day in day out in surgeries have seen a fall of more than 20 per cent in their pay packets since 2006. This has come at the same time as a much broader crisis in general practice which is increasingly being felt by patients.' Read the article
Asthma UK's annual asthma care survey
In response to a recent post on the Asthma UK Facebook page, asking for patients to share experiences of bad asthma care from their GP surgeries, we have written to its chief executive to raise our concerns and seek a change in approach.
We have urged it to collaborate with the GPC in the future to improve patient care, rather than post messages which are likely to undermine the trust patients have in their GPs.
GPC road shows
GPC roadshows are planned for the coming months across England, starting off on the 31 January in Birmingham, Leeds and Avon. There are several other events, including one in Preston, which has now been confirmed for 1 February. Access more information