Exclusive: PM responds to GP value campaign

Just 3% of GP35 panel back Labour's vision for future of primary care.

Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown

Prime minister Gordon Brown today responded to a public challenge to make a statement valuing general practice.

GP launched the Valuing General Practice campaign in May, which was backed by hundreds of GPs, thousands of patients, the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and bodies including the RCGP, BMA and NHS Alliance.

A campaign survey of 276 GPs found that one in seven practices were threatened with closure or relocation to a polyclinic and 82 per cent thought that Mr Brown should make a statement valuing general practice.

Six weeks ago GP publicly challenged Mr Brown to respond to our campaign and you can read the full 153-word statement attached.

The prime minister endorses the GP35 initiative, a panel of 35 GPs aged under 35 which aims to give younger GPs a voice.

Our panel survey found that only 3 per cent believed Labour would deliver the best future for general practice (Conservatives 83 per cent, Liberal Democrats 13 per cent).

However, four-fifths of the panel would recommend a career in general practice to current medical students.

The GP35 was largely unimpressed by Mr Brown's statement. Dr Shimnaz Nazeer, from Swansea, said: 'Tougher quality framework, extended hours and no pay rise for three years. If Labour valued general practice so much why has there been so much GP bashing?'

Birmingham locum Dr Lizzie Croton said: 'What is the point of increasing GP numbers when there are no jobs for them?'

Dr Gaurav Gupta, from Faversham, Kent, said: 'The policy of attracting private companies is flawed. GPs are the only professionals in this for the long haul.'

neil.durham@haymarket.com

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