MPs meet GPs in parliament to hear about crisis facing general practice

MPs met GPs from the Rebuild General Practice campaign in parliament this week to hear about the crisis facing general practice and how they can offer support.

Conservative MP Sir Peter Bottomley with GP Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer
Conservative MP for Worthing West Sir Peter Bottomley with GP Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer (Photo: Rebuild General Practice)

The campaign, which is aiming to raise awareness of the challenges facing GPs across the UK, had called on GPs to write to their MPs and ask them to visit the event in parliament on 16 June.

MPs from across the political parties met GPs Dr Rob Barnett, Dr Rachel Ward, Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer, Dr Kieran Sharrock, deputy chair of the BMA's England GP committee, and Dr John Canning from the General Practice Defence Fund to hear about the campaign. The doctors were asking MPs for their support and help to begin tackling the crisis in primary care.

The Rebuild GP campaign - launched in March this year - has warned that the GP shortage and soaring workload have left general practice in crisis and are putting patient safety at risk. The campaign’s three-point plan to rebuild general practice includes tackling factors driving GPs out of the profession such as burnout, and calls for a reduction in workload to boost patient safety.

Workforce shortage

MPs attending this week's event were asked to meet GPs in their constituencies to find out how the workload and workforce crises were affecting practices. The GPs also asked MPs to raise written and oral questions in parliament about the primary care workforce shortfall and to write to health and social care secretary Sajid Javid to highlight concerns from their local GPs and urge him to make good on the government's commitment to recruit 6,000 additional GPs by 2024.

Last month as part of the campaign more than 200 GPs signed an open letter to patients warning that 'decades of neglect' and have left general practice in crisis - and urging patients to direct frustration with the service at politicians, not practices.

A poll by the campaign earlier this year found that more than four in five GPs have experienced work-related anxiety, stress or depression in the past year and a quarter know a colleague in their area who has taken their own life.

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