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Hi, I am Preeti Shukla and I’m the sessional rep for North West England. I am new to medico-politics and the BMA, and it’s my first time on the sessional GPs subcommittee, but it’s a privilege to represent colleagues and raise grassroots issues.
I am a part-time salaried GP and do locum work as well. I am an LMC member and currently representing GPs in the Pennine Lancashire Flu programme as well as the Vulnerable Practice and Resilience programme. Locally I am executive lead in the Blackburn with Darwen CCG in primary care and medicine management, where my primary goal is to ease the workload and bureaucratic burden on GPs so that they have more time for patients.
Though I enjoy all my roles as they add variety to my work and add a different flavour to my life, being a mum supersedes all these. Spending time with my son rejuvenates me and at the same time challenges me, as he is growing to be as headstrong as I am. I have never loved a challenge so much as this; indemnity comes close though.
Indemnity should be the foremost priority for the BMA in my opinion. It is the underpinning cause of many problems faced by general practice. At a time when the NHS is crying out for GPs, they can’t afford to work – adding to the workload, recruitment and retention crisis.
A lot of resources are being spent on other healthcare professionals, like physician associates, but there is deafening silence from NHS England since last summer on the issue of indemnity, which is unacceptable. To add insult to injury there is a chance that the discount rate currently used for calculating personal injury awards could be dropped, thus increasing the indemnity further and forcing GPs out of work.
So my goal as a BMA representative will be to constantly raise this issue and hammer on the relevant authorities to resolve it, and as ever request your support to keep highlighting the issue.
Preeti Shukla is a part-time sessional GP in Blackburn and North West representative on the GPC sessional GPs subcommittee.