Campaigners call for 'GP revolt' at NHS England meeting

Save our Surgeries campaigners are calling on GPs from across the country to attend NHS England's annual general meeting (AGM) later this month to highlight the threat to general practice from funding cuts.

Dr Naomi Beer (left of centre) takes part in protests over MPIG cuts (Photo: Wilde Fry)
Dr Naomi Beer (left of centre) takes part in protests over MPIG cuts (Photo: Wilde Fry)

East London GPs want doctors and supporters to register to attend the national commissioning body’s AGM in London on 18 September.

Dr Naomi Beer, a partner at the Jubilee Street practice that has been at the heart of the battle against MPIG cuts, said GPs should let NHS leaders know they are not going away despite winning concessions for a small number of badly hit practices last month.

‘We want to let them know that the issue of what they are doing to general practice is not going to go away,' she told GP. ‘We want the message to come across loud and clear that the issue is not going away and is too big to put a sticking plaster over continually.’

Support will help a minority

Dr Beer said the MPIG support package offered by NHS England would help only a small number of practices affected by MPIG withdrawal.

‘We are pleased they have listened to our argument and I think it is important to make the point that they have conceded decisions they have taken have put some practices in extremely difficult positions,' she said.

‘They have shifted for a few practices, but they now need to learn and acknowledge that the problem is much wider than just those practices. It is actually across great swathes of general practice across the country and it is not just the issue of the immediate funding for things like MPIG, but it is things like the underlying funding, it's the rising workload, it's being asked to do more and more with less and less. It is the way general practice has been treated and mismanaged.’

GPs are in revolt

In an email to supporters of the Save our Surgeries campaign, Jubilee Street partners said: ‘Let them know the GPs are in revolt, let them know we are not just another passing annoyance, let them know we are watching. Let them know they are accountable to us, let them know they are accountable to our patients, remind them we are accountable to our patients.

'Let them know we are not waiting around for our professional bodies to politely negotiate a compromise over a further 10 years, let them know you are at work 12 hours each day trying to keep patients safe, that you need resources for an extra nurse or receptionist, let them know why your patients sometimes struggle to get through on the phone. Be visible. They are listening. They know. The more of us in the room, the better. Please, please come. Our collective strength has never, historically, been greater.’

The meeting will take place from 5:30pm to 7:30pm on 18 September in the Churchill room, Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Westminster, London, SW1P 3EE. Anyone wishing to attend needs to register online at www.events.england.nhs.uk/nhs-england/163

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