Exclusive: GPs demand Brown backs general practice

82 per cent of GPs believe that prime minister Gordon Brown should make a statement valuing general practice, according to a GP survey.

Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown

A total of 276 GPs took part in the survey for GP’s Valuing General Practice campaign.

A GP said: ‘GPs currently feel under attack by the government. If GPs are not under attack then the prime minister should have no qualms about making such a statement.’

Another added: ‘It might improve morale a bit. I have been a doctor for 32 years and have never felt so devalued and demoralised in my career. I’m embarrassed to be Scottish and have a PM who is so up his own backside he cannot see what he is doing to the profession. In fact he seems to take a delight in making us feel bad. If I were younger I would be emigrating.’

The survey also found that one in seven practices are threatened with closure or relocation to a polyclinic.
Valuing General Practice was also backed by almost 4,000 patients. Here are 22 reasons we did not have room for in this week’s GP explaining why they value general practice:

1. ‘My doctor knows my history without me having to explain it again and again.’

2. ‘Don’t want to travel too far – would have to get a taxi – I am a pensioner, no money to spare for taxis. My GP is always at hand.’

3. ‘Personal, unhurried attention. Feeling secure with one’s ailments. Well thought of doctors.’

4. ‘I believe it is important to obtain the personal contact one has in general practice.’

5. ‘The continuity and consistency that comes with personal and direct treatment with the same doctor.’

6. ‘This practice has served me well over many years. Could not manage without same.’

7. ‘We all rely on our doctor and staff and feel happy here.’

8. ‘Excellent – don’t mess with the best.’

9. ‘Surgery feels cosy and homelike, raising spirits and immune response, unlike cold, clinical, large practices where you don’t feel known.’

10. ‘I’ve been coming here 58 years and I value the doctors and all the staff.’

11. ‘It’s all about trust, reliance and good support. I don’t want a nameless face.’

12. ‘I like the doctor to be near when needed. He is always helpful.’

13. ‘Doctor listens and acts accordingly. Doesn’t just reach for the prescription pad. Very, very good.’

14. ‘Trusting and always listens. Doesn’t just diagnose - awesome!’

15. ‘We all benefit from regular and easy access to more small surgeries.’

16. ‘This is just what the patient ordered.’

17. ‘I am 87 and I can get to doctors by walking. The public transport is abysmal.’

18. ‘I don’t drive and a local service is essential. Bus service less than useful.’

19. ‘Important part of the community. Takes strain from hospitals. A face you can trust.’

20. ‘Particularly important for older patients who feel safe knowing the doctor knows all about them.’

21. ‘Doctor knows all my history and he is like a family friend.’

22. ‘As a retired consultant physician I value medical attention that is personal and continuous. General practice provides this – soulless polyclinics would not.’

neil.durham@haymarket.com

 

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