NHS 'teetering on the brink' East London GPs tell Jeremy Hunt

Scores of East London GPs have signed a letter to health secretary Jeremy Hunt and NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens warning that health service funding for their area has fallen far behind the needs of patients.

More than 60 NHS staff - mainly GPs, but including practice managers and consultants - signed the letter to express their 'dismay' at the level of funding Tower Hamlets CCG receives.

The group warns that while the population of the area has surged by more than 12% over the past four years, the CCG's funding allocation has risen by less than 9% - effectively leaving the CCG £12.5m short of the funding it received four years ago.

The warning from London GPs follows warnings from GPs across the country that their practices could struggle to cope as winter drives up pressure on the health service.

GPonline reported last week that two thirds of GPs believe their practice will struggle to cope this winter. Meanwhile, 90% said the NHS as a whole would struggle to cope.

NHS funding

Figures published last week by NHS England appeared to confirm that the health service is already struggling with the worst of winter yet to come - 94.5% of acute and general hospital beds in England were occupied in the week to 3 December, well above the 85% target. GPs have warned this will create a knock-on effect for primary care.

The Tower Hamlets GPs say that the current funding formula for general practice fails adequately to recognise the impact of deprivation and the fast turnover among the population that primary care services in London support.

But they warn that although the formula must be updated, overall NHS funding must be increased to avoid 'robbing Peter to pay Paul'.

'We know that we are not alone in struggling to provide the healthcare that our population needs and deserves,' the GPs write. 'We know that all over England the NHS, both primary and secondary care, is teetering on the brink of collapse, often kept going by the goodwill of staff who go the extra mile due to dedication to the job.

'This situation is not necessary. We are the fifth largest economy in the world.'

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

Patient satisfaction screen

How a GP practice worked with patients to stop a torrent of complaints

A GP practice has seen complaints drop from 50-plus a day to just four in 10 months...

British Army soldiers marching

How the NHS Op COURAGE service can help support veterans

Armed forces veterans often have unique health needs. Clinical staff from London...

GP consultation

Continuity of care would save millions of GP appointments each year, new study finds

GP workload would be significantly reduced if continuity of care was prioritised...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: Visa sponsor shortage threatens GP workforce, locum GPs struggle to find work, record appointments

The GPonline team discusses the key news stories affecting general practice in our...

RCGP sign

RCGP condemns threat to retention funding as third of GPs consider quitting

Funding for GP retention risks being stripped away to cover other financial pressures...

Professor Dame Helen Stokes Lampard

Former RCGP chair joins NHS England board

Former RCGP chair Professor Dame Helen Stokes-Lampard has joined the NHS England...