GP crisis: Support from patients can save general practice

General practice is facing many challenges, but we are truly appreciated by our patients - and that means primary care will survive, writes Dr Chris Mimnagh.

I’ve tried writing this brief column five times now. I wanted to say something about the CQC, who recently came to pay us a visit, but words failed me.

I tried to write about the juniors strike and the recent unearthing of a video in which Sir Bruce Keogh extolls the virtues of weekends off, and words failed me again.

I tried drawing out the Nuffield/King's Fund findings that suggest frontline clinical leadership is falling away from CCGs, but words failed me.

I looked at the Oxford study suggesting that primary care demand has risen to saturation point and again words failed me.

The only thing that’s lifted my hopes in the last month was the finding that in our CQC patients comments box out of 108 comments received (declared a record by our inspector) 105 were positive and three negative.

Obviously we don’t get told exactly what was said until the final report, but I’m prepared to draw a rough conclusion.

My conclusion is that however lobsided CQC inspections might be, however bad things might be in the wider system, however two-faced the politicos might be, however stuffed our surgeries may be, the fundamental truth remains – we as general practitioners are appreciated by our patients. And as long as they understand our motivation to help them survive and thrive, primary care will survive whatever the politicians attempt to dismantle health care.

And that leaves me speechless.

  • Dr Chris Mimnagh is a GP in Liverpool co-director of clinical strategy at the NHS partnership organisation Liverpool Health Partners

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