We are appalled by the prejudices of the Department of Health exposed by Health Minister Norman Lamb in your article about the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund of 12 April 2014, in which he describes wanting to explore four personal health concerns in a single appointment with his General Medical Practitioner. What Mr Lamb and all our patients desperately need is more GP time.
A full time NHS GP typically has 2,000 patients. To meet the need of these patients, most GPs offer appointments at ten minute intervals. It would be unsafe to attempt to address three or four different health issues in a single appointment as well as other public health tasks, many of which set by the Department of Health. Furthermore, time spent answering emails will be at the expense of spending time with other patients. As a health minister, Mr Lamb should understand this better than anyone.
The share of the NHS budget spent on General Practice has fallen from over 12% four years ago to 8%, while workload has soared. Many GPs routinely work 10-12 hours per day, every hour of which requires constant, focused attention. There is a widespread recruitment and retention crisis and headline-grabbers such as the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund - which explicitly provides funding for only one year - will do nothing to remedy this.
Sadly, it is our patients who suffer. It is time to Put Patients First and give General Practice the support and resources our patients need.
Whilst Mr Lamb may wish to try an email consultation, he should first consider whether this is the best way to deal with what is likely to be a complex matter. He should also consider whether he would like it to be dealt with by a doctor who may already have been working for 12 hours that day.
Yours faithfully,Dr John Cosgrove, Midlands Medical Partnership, BirminghamDr Prit Buttar, The Abingdon Surgery, AbingdonDr Chidozie Adiele, Bridgegate Surgery, RetfordDr Deboshree Basu-Choudhuri, Nuffield House Surgery, HarlowDr Dana Beale, Meadowell Centre, WatfordDr Natasha Beardmore, Moorcroft Medical Centre, Stoke on TrentDr Catherine Black, The Laurels Medical Practice, TottenhamDr Rachel Blackman, Hartley Corner Surgery, BlackwaterDr Andrew Blease, The Cedars Surgery, DealDr Claire Bonner, Poplar Grove Practice, AylesburyDr James Booth, Melbourne House Surgery, ChelmsfordDr Russell Brown, Manor Park Surgery, PolegateDr Martin Brunet, Binscombe Medical Centre, GodalmingDr Catherine Cargill, Blackwater Medical Centre, MaldonDr Ajali Chandra, SouthseaDr Vivian Chen, Hornchurch Healthcare, HornchurchDr Naylea Choudry, Darwen Health Centre, West DarwenDr Alessandra Dale, Stanley Corner Medical Centre, WembleyDr Isobel Davies, Abbey Surgery, TavistockDr Stephanie De Giorgio, The Cedars Surgery, DealDr Claire de Mortimer-Griffin, SheffieldDr Simran Dehal, Kingfisher Practice, HounslowDr Helen Drew, Barton House Group Practice, HackneyDr Paul Evans, Locum GP, Tyne and WearDr Mark Folman, The Fountain Medical Centre, NewarkDr David Fox, Highglades Medical Centre, St Leonard's on seaDr Hussain Gandhi, Wellspring Surgery, NottinghamDr Kamini Gautam, West LondonDr Sandeep Geeranavar, Langton Medical Group, LichfieldDr Siobhan Gill, Brooklane Surgery, SouthamptonDr Karen Goodfellow, Lister GP Walk-In Centre, SouthwarkDr Pauline Grant, St Clements Practice, WinchesterDr Sally Harrison, Emmersons Green, BristolDr Maria Henson, Locum GP, CheltenhamDr Bob Hodges, Barnwood Medical Practice,Dr Sukhdip Jhaj, Silsden Group Practice, SilsdenDr Rajiv Kalia, The Spires Practice, LichfieldDr Sameer Khurjekar, Chichele Road Surgery, LondonDr Bastiaan Kole, Freelance GP, FulhamDr Alison Lawton, Parkview Medical Centre, NottinghamDr Ruth Marchant, Manorbrook Medical Centre, KidbrookeDr Adrian Midgley, ISCA Medical Practice, ExeterDr Kartik Modha, Friern Barnet Medical Centre, BarnetDr Kim Morgan, StaffordDr Aditya Narkar, Locum GP, LeedsDr Ayo Onasanya, Oak Tree Medical Centre, IlfordDr Kamal Patel, Langley Medical Practice, SurbitonDr Arup Paul, Globe Town Surgery, LondonDr Veronica Priestley, Grove Medical Centre, EghamDr Neetha Purushotham, Gillian House Surgery, LondonDr Nadiya Rizvi, Sessional GP, East LondonDr Leah Robinson, Bilsthorpe Surgery, NewarkDr Stewart Rutherford, Morrab Surgery, PenzanceDr Vishal Sagar, Hampton Medical Centre, HamptonDr Lynette Saunders, Newbury Street Medical Practice, WantageDr Christopher Schoeb, Ingleton Avenue Surgery, WellingDr Shameer Shah, Stanhope Surgery, Waltham CrossDr Shama Shaid, Sessional GP, Hemel HempsteadDr David Shore, The Revel Surgery, RugbyDr Michelle Sinclair, Richmond Surgery, FleetDr Satish Singh, Staithe Surgery, StalhamDr Julie Stanton, Yorkshire Medical Chambers,Dr Siobhan Stapleton, Mansell Road Practice, GreenfordDr Dax Tennant, Downlands Medical Centre, PolegateDr Ida Tuck, Churchill Medical Centre, Kingston upon ThamesDr Nicola Waldman, Merton Medical Practice, LondonDr Deborah Webb, The Old School Surgery, Stoney StantonDr Ross Wentworth, The Poplars Medical Centre, ManchesterDr George Winder, Oakwood Lane Medical Practice, LeedsDr Dilanee Wirasinghe, Cassidy Medical Practice, FulhamDr Sally Wood, Station Drive Surgery, LudlowDr Alan Woodall, Machynlleth Medical Practice, PowysDr Justin Woolley, Kew Medical Practice, KewDr Sarah Worboys, James Wigg Practice, Kentish TownDr Saher Zakai, Boney Hay Surgery, Burntwood
Monday, 21 April 2014
Shocked by Health Minister Norman Lamb's comments reported in The Daily Telegraph on 12 April 2014, 75 GPs wrote in. Our letter was published on 27 April and reported by Health Editor +Laura Donnelly.