Government must address issues deterring GPs not just bribe medical students


Monday January 26th

Statement from GP, Dr Louise Irvine of the National Health Action Party

(Reaction to news of £10m government initiative to encourage newly qualified medics to boost numbers and stave off existing GPs from early retirement

Louise-IrvineWe’re pleased our demand to recruit more GPs is in the spotlight. But this initiative is yet another cynical pre-election ploy from a government that’s spent its whole time in office under-funding General Practice and lumbering GPs with the burdensome bureaucracy generated by its wasteful NHS reforms.

There’s no point trying to bribe medical students to become GPs. The government must confront the issues that are deterring them and causing current doctors to abandon this sector. It’s not about the money paid to individual GPs. It’s about the money the government is willing to invest in General Practice as a whole. General Practice accounts for 90% of NHS patient contacts but gets just 8.3% of the NHS budget.  The Royal College of GPs says it needs 11% of the NHS budget by 2017 in order to cut waiting times and guarantee safe care for patients.

GPs are increasingly unable to cope with their burgeoning workload since the government’s 2012 reforms, which is why they are leaving. As well as extra bureaucracy, the average number of patients that GPs have to deal with has gone up hugely but there has been no matching increase in GP numbers or resources to meet that increased demand. Recent figures from the Royal College of GPs show family doctors now regularly consult with up to 60 patients a day and the College estimates that the average number of consultations carried out by each GP in England per year has risen by 1,450 since 2008 from 9,264 to 10,714. ​ That means the average GP is having to fit in an extra 1450 consultations.

GPs are having to deal with ​more ​elderly and ​very complex patients with several long term conditions at the same time and much more complex medication regimes than, say, 20 years ago. And they are also having to face a huge amount of unfunded extra work ​ that​ has been transferred from hospitals to GP​s, including most of the management of long term conditions.

Being a GP ‎has become an increasingly stressful and frustrating job under this government which is having a serious impact on morale.

For press enquiries, please contact:

Giselle Green

Head of Press, National Health Action Party

mob: 07767 612311

​About the NHA Party:

The NHA Party, was launched in 2012 by doctors, nurses, paramedi​​cs​, NHS  ​staff and ordinary members of the public in opposition to the coalition’s top-down NHS reorganisation. It now boasts nearly five thousand members, 64,000 twittter followers and ​more than 30 local groups across the country. It’s been ranked as the party which engages most with its facebook followers.

Over the past couple of months alone, the NHA Party has been in media around 100 times, from the Financial Times, the Daily Mail and the Independent, to the Spectator, New Statesman and Huffington Post. NHA spokespeople have appeared on a range of TV and radio programmes including the BBC’s Daily Politics show, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky News, 5live, You & Yours, LBC, the World Tonight and numerous local BBC radio and TV stations. You can check these all out here:

This past week, Russell Brand told watchers of his youtube news programme, the Trews, about the NHA Party:  (6:40 in). And the Daily Telegraph’s Gillian Reynolds ticked off the BBC’s Nick Robinson for not mentioning the NHA Party in his programme about democracy:

The NHA co-leader, and cancer specalist, Dr Clive Peedell, has been retweeted over eight thousand times with this tweet:

The Party  ​has so far announced it’s fielding ​​a dozen candidates at the general election including Dr Peedell  ​challenging David Cameron ​ in Witney and GP Dr Louise Irvine, chair of the ​successful​ Save Lewisham campaign​, taking on Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in South West Surrey. The other co-leader of the NHA Party​, the former MP, Dr Richard Taylor, who won 2 elections in Wyre Forest fighting to save his local Kidderminster Hospital​, will also be standing again.

The NHA Party may only be standing a small number of candidates, but they are all high quality candidates and with the NHS now the number 1 issue for votes, it could pull a few suprises. Full list of candidates here:

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