September 25th, 2016

Doctors warn of strain on city’s GP surgeries

Doctors warn of strain on city’s GP surgeries Doctors warn of strain on city’s GP surgeries
Updated: 4:50 pm, May 07, 2015

GP surgeries across the city are at breaking point, claim doctors.

A total of 198 doctors, nurses and practice staff have spoken out and made a desperate plea for increased Government support.

In an open letter they say surgeries are under unsustainable pressure from a rising workload and reduced funding.

They said: “We are unable to cope with the current pressure on the health service, and understand entirely why our patients are becoming frustrated at the lack of appointments and delays getting the treatment they need.

“Demand is continuing to rise but the Government has failed to provide the support that local GP practices need to offer their patients the time and care they require.”

The group say the number of GP consultations has risen dramatically in the past six years and they are spending more time with each patient because of an increase in complex and chronic illnesses.

They believe this has had a knock-on effect on GP recruitment with newly-qualified doctors no longer choosing general practice as a career.

But despite these changes, the proportion of NHS funding spent on general practice has fallen by nearly three percent in the six years.

They added: “We are reaching an incredibly important moment for general practice. We can either face up to the realities facing GPs and make plans now to meet the growing challenges – or we can bury our heads in the sand and watch this key part of the NHS slide into permanent decline.”

A spokesperson for NHS England said changes to the way GPs were paid would free up their time to provide care by removing excessive performance targets.

They added changes were being made to modernise surgeries including greater use of telephone, email and video consultations, as well as more flexible appointment times.

Jim Cunningham, MP for Coventry South, has written to the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, telling him the government need to act.

He said: “GPs are at the front line of the NHS and how the government treats them is symptomatic of their attitude to the wider service. These figures demonstrate that the NHS is in serious trouble.

“I have no doubt this is a deliberate strategy from a government, who despite their protestations, are determined to destroy the NHS from within.”

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