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Take GP Service Off Life Support, Medics Tell Sajid Javid

Take GP Service Off Life Support, Medics Tell Sajid Javid

Medics have taken the unprecedented step of writing to Health Secretary Sajid Javid laying bare the scale of a crisis that is putting patient safety in peril. They say the situation is grave, but will only get worse unless immediate action is taken to address life-threatening concerns.

On Sunday 3,569 GPs, retired doctors and GPs in training had signed the letter, published exclusively in the Express on Monday.

Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, warned: “General practice is the cornerstone of the NHS. It helps more patients than the rest of the NHS put together. So, when GPs and their patients say that general practice is in crisis, we should all be concerned. It’s clear we are already struggling, and without action things are likely to get worse.”

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Patients are already struggling to secure routine appointments because of a GP staffing emergency. Analysis suggests four in 10 are set to quit in five years.

Millions were unable to see a doctor face-to-face during the height Covid, while demand has increased in terms of volume and complexity.

GPs have long complained of daily obstacles preventing them offering timely care and support, including lack of resources and reliable IT systems. The stresses of not being properly equipped to help the sick and vulnerable has seen many suffer with their own mental ill health and an alarming number of newly-qualified doctors are leaving the profession as a result.

The Government has promised to deliver 6,000 more GPs, but the RCGP said it needs to act now as the row over the true number of doctors in work escalates.

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In 2015, then Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt promised 5,000 more GPs by 2020. The target was not met.

Excluding trainees there are now around 27,647 full-time family doctors – 132…

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