London GPs declare 'state of emergency' as general practice faces rising pressure

London GP leaders will declare a 'state of emergency' for the service in the capital today, and call on practices to 'push back' against non-core demand.

Londonwide LMCs chief executive Dr Michelle Drage
Londonwide LMCs chief executive Dr Michelle Drage

Hundreds of GPs and practice staff are meeting on Wednesday for the annual conference of Londonwide LMCs. Chief executive Dr Michelle Drage warned that increased pressures on the service are putting people off joining the profession and causing GPs to ‘leave in droves’.

Dr Drage said that patients could lose their GP unless pressures on general practice are dramatically eased.

‘General practice is at breaking point. That’s not safe for patients or staff. Between bean counting, over-inspection and rising indemnity fees London general practice has had enough. We’re declaring a GP state of emergency,' she said.

GPs under pressure

‘Unless GPs push back against non-core demand and focus on what’s immediately necessary for care, there’s a real risk that we’re not only letting down ourselves, but also our patients.

‘We’re focusing on this state of emergency among our  workforce because a year ago we committed to doing six-monthly workforce surveys of London GP practices and the results have been worrying. November’s survey shows that almost half of practices are short at least one member of staff; a third are missing at least one GP and 39 practices are considering handing back the keys within three years.’

The government and NHS England are expected to announce a national package of policies, the GP Roadmap, later this week which is expected to reveal measures to reduce bureaucracy and ease workload for practices.

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