The i News has reported on DAUK and GP survival’s latest letter to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, following his proposals to reform the GP services.
“Dr Ellen Welch, a GP and co-chair of DAUK, said: “If you’ve got ‘internal bleeding’ then you really don’t want to guess which tests you need or which specialists you should self-refer to – you may bleed to death while deciding.
“Doctors train for 10 years or more to become GPs to assess what’s going on and help patients in the best way possible. It’s shocking that Labour would suggest this. It puts patients at risk while simultaneously devaluing the expertise of GPs”.
The doctors called on Labour to “avoid reforming, for reforming’s sake” and that the Labour proposals would not improve patient care or produce any cost savings.
General practice is providing a significant number of extra appointments in recent years, despite the overall number of GPs reducing since 2015. NHS England data shows general practice consults are up about 20 per cent compared to 2019 levels. An estimated 32.9 million appointments were provided in November 2022.
The groups said it is the partnership model which has enabled this achievement in “highly challenging circumstances, because it is a ‘task and finish’ model rather than a time delineated, ‘clock-on, clock-off’ model”.
They said a purely salaried model, with fixed workloads, would not be able to adjust to increasing demands in the same way.
DAUK GP Lead Dr Lizzie Toberty said: “It is clear Labour leaders have not spoken to any doctors in developing their ideas, and it appears the NHS will be no better off under them than the current Government.
“As doctors who live and breathe the NHS in our daily lives, we know the problems our patients are encountering, and more than that we know the likely solutions. We are not the enemy here, we all want a health service of which we can be proud. We appeal to them, please go back to the drawing board and listen to us.”
Read the full news here.