Monday 21 April 2014

Response to Norman Lamb on access in General Practice

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.


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, Birmingham
Dr Prit Buttar, The Abingdon Surgery, Abingdon
Dr Chidozie Adiele, Bridgegate Surgery, Retford
Dr Deboshree Basu-Choudhuri, Nuffield House Surgery, Harlow
Dr Dana Beale, Meadowell Centre, Watford
Dr Natasha Beardmore, Moorcroft Medical Centre, Stoke on Trent
Dr Catherine Black, The Laurels Medical Practice, Tottenham
Dr Rachel Blackman, Hartley Corner Surgery, Blackwater
Dr Andrew Blease, The Cedars Surgery, Deal
Dr Claire Bonner, Poplar Grove Practice, Aylesbury
Dr James Booth, Melbourne House Surgery, Chelmsford
Dr Russell Brown, Manor Park Surgery, Polegate
Dr Martin Brunet, Binscombe Medical Centre, Godalming
Dr Catherine Cargill, Blackwater Medical Centre, Maldon
Dr Ajali Chandra, Southsea
Dr Vivian Chen, Hornchurch Healthcare, Hornchurch
Dr Naylea Choudry, Darwen Health Centre, West Darwen
Dr Alessandra Dale, Stanley Corner Medical Centre, Wembley
Dr Isobel Davies, Abbey Surgery, Tavistock
Dr Stephanie De Giorgio, The Cedars Surgery, Deal
Dr Claire de Mortimer-Griffin, Sheffield
Dr Simran Dehal, Kingfisher Practice, Hounslow
Dr Helen Drew, Barton House Group Practice, Hackney
Dr Paul Evans, Locum GP, Tyne and Wear
Dr Mark Folman, The Fountain Medical Centre, Newark
Dr David Fox, Highglades Medical Centre, St Leonard's on sea
Dr Hussain Gandhi, Wellspring Surgery, Nottingham
Dr Kamini Gautam, West London
Dr Sandeep Geeranavar, Langton Medical Group, Lichfield
Dr Siobhan Gill, Brooklane Surgery, Southampton
Dr Karen Goodfellow, Lister GP Walk-In Centre, Southwark
Dr Pauline Grant, St Clements Practice, Winchester
Dr Sally Harrison, Emmersons Green, Bristol
Dr Maria Henson, Locum GP, Cheltenham
Dr Bob Hodges, Barnwood Medical Practice,
Dr Sukhdip Jhaj, Silsden Group Practice, Silsden
Dr Rajiv Kalia, The Spires Practice, Lichfield
Dr Sameer Khurjekar, Chichele Road Surgery, London
Dr Bastiaan Kole, Freelance GP, Fulham
Dr Alison Lawton, Parkview Medical Centre, Nottingham
Dr Ruth Marchant, Manorbrook Medical Centre, Kidbrooke
Dr Adrian Midgley, ISCA Medical Practice, Exeter
Dr Kartik Modha, Friern Barnet Medical Centre, Barnet
Dr Kim Morgan, Stafford
Dr Aditya Narkar, Locum GP, Leeds
Dr Ayo Onasanya, Oak Tree Medical Centre, Ilford
Dr Kamal Patel, Langley Medical Practice, Surbiton
Dr Arup Paul, Globe Town Surgery, London
Dr Veronica Priestley, Grove Medical Centre, Egham
Dr Neetha Purushotham, Gillian House Surgery, London
Dr Nadiya Rizvi, Sessional GP, East London
Dr Leah Robinson, Bilsthorpe Surgery, Newark
Dr Stewart Rutherford, Morrab Surgery, Penzance
Dr Vishal Sagar, Hampton Medical Centre, Hampton
Dr Lynette Saunders, Newbury Street Medical Practice, Wantage
Dr Christopher Schoeb, Ingleton Avenue Surgery, Welling
Dr Shameer Shah, Stanhope Surgery, Waltham Cross
Dr Shama Shaid, Sessional GP, Hemel Hempstead
Dr David Shore, The Revel Surgery, Rugby
Dr Michelle Sinclair, Richmond Surgery, Fleet
Dr Satish Singh, Staithe Surgery, Stalham
Dr Julie Stanton, Yorkshire Medical Chambers,
Dr Siobhan Stapleton, Mansell Road Practice, Greenford
Dr Dax Tennant, Downlands Medical Centre, Polegate
Dr Ida Tuck, Churchill Medical Centre, Kingston upon Thames
Dr Nicola Waldman, Merton Medical Practice, London
Dr Deborah Webb, The Old School Surgery, Stoney Stanton
Dr Ross Wentworth, The Poplars Medical Centre, Manchester
Dr George Winder, Oakwood Lane Medical Practice, Leeds
Dr Dilanee Wirasinghe, Cassidy Medical Practice, Fulham
Dr Sally Wood, Station Drive Surgery, Ludlow
Dr Alan Woodall, Machynlleth Medical Practice, Powys
Dr Justin Woolley, Kew Medical Practice, Kew
Dr Sarah Worboys, James Wigg Practice, Kentish Town
Dr Saher Zakai, Boney Hay Surgery, Burntwood


Anonymous said...

Amazing work. Will G-W.

Anonymous said...

At last the truth

Sally-Ann said...

How common now is nurse triage and nurse practitioners in GP practices John, working along side GP's? Helping to prioritise and see patients?

John Cosgrove said...

Increasing the skill mix in general practice will be vital, Sally. There just won't be enough GPs. However, practice nurses don't grow on trees either.
Training of other HCPs in primary care needs to be standardised and supported. We also need to ensure that cost-effectiveness is maintained in terms of intensity of work and use of resources.

Murali Nair said...

Well done John Cosgrove. Good work indeed. Probably will fall on ears pretending to be deaf, as the thick skinned politicians rarely listen to us as our opinions will be completely against their hidden agendas.