GPs need help to prevent NHS reforms stress

A team from GP magazine travelled to Glasgow last week to produce daily editions for the RCGP's annual primary care conference.

RCGP leaders are concerned about the design and implementation of NHS reforms and want detailed scrutiny of the process. RCGP vice-chairman Dr Steve Mowle fears GPs leading the reforms could be overwhelmed by the pressure of the clinical commissioning group (CCG) authorisation process, currently under way, at the same time as maintaining services.

But it's not just GPs leading CCGs from April 2013 who are at risk of stress and burnout. GPs without leading CCG roles may be regarded increasingly by their patients as the administrators of NHS cuts. Stress and burnout are also possible consequences for front-line GPs working from their surgeries who face the wrath of patients unhappy about the dwindling availability of services.

Writing in The Guardian last week, new BMA deputy chairman Dr Kailash Chand said commissioning as a concept was one the BMA had been advocating for years. If done properly, it could lead to a more responsive NHS.

GPs may feel former health secretary Andrew Lansley did his utmost to distance the government from NHS responsibility at precisely the time they were being called on to preside over a system increasingly hit by rationing.

Dr Chand calls on new health secretary Jeremy Hunt to make a commitment to protect NHS funding. GP thinks he should go one step further. Earlier this year we reported about an Avon LMC scheme, GP Safe House, a website designed to give GPs confidential support on issues such as burnout and stress.

Isn't this exactly the sort of scheme the government should be funding across England as it expects GPs to step into the breach and transform its NHS?

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