GP crisis: Election a chance to highlight issues facing general practice

DAUK’s Dr Steve Taylor says the general election will present a chance to highlight the issues facing general practice to prospective MPs and the public.

Dr Taylor, a GP of more than 30 years and GP spokesperson for the Doctors’ Association UK, called on MPs to make the funding of general practice a priority when Parliament returns after the election on 4 July.

Speaking to GP Online, Dr Taylor said: “Although the election will offer the opportunity to highlight the ongoing issues in the NHS and general practice in particular, it will also delay any decisions on funding and the urgent issues facing patient care.

“With GPs facing significant issues on funding that need urgent attention, DAUK hopes that MPs will not delay decisions on funding and make it a priority on the resumption of parliament.”

MP briefing

DAUK is holding a briefing for MPs and prospective MPs on Wednesday 19 June to discuss the crisis in general practice and things that could be done to tackle it.

The briefing was organised before the election was called and Dr Taylor urged those standing for election to attend.

He said: “It is vital all prospective MPs understand the issues facing GPs and the provision of patient care in the community.”

Dr Taylor will be joined at the briefing by colleagues from DAUK’s GP committee, including its chair Dr Lizzie Toberty, and members Dr Ellen Welch and Dr Sarah Jacques.

The briefing, Why Can’t I See My GP? The Great British Paradox, is based on the book Why Can’t I See My GP?, a copy of which we sent to all 650 MPs in March.

Find out more about the briefing.

Pharmacy First

Meanwhile, Dr Taylor has also spoken about the impact of Pharmacy First, which was launched earlier this year with the aim of easing the pressure on GPs.

Through the new service, pharmacists will be able to provide advice to patients and issue medicines for seven common conditions in sinusitis; sore throat; earache; infected insect bite; impetigo; shingles and uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women.

Dr Taylor, contributing to a Medscape feature exploring the impact of Pharmacy First, said the scheme has had ‘little positive impact on GP workload, likely neutral at best’.

He added that it was ‘ill thought, particularly at a time GP funding has been cut by 20 per cent per patient over eight years, and potentially a case of taking funds from one area to pay another to do their job less well’.

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