Happy 60th Birthday to NHS General Practice!
For 60 years, GP surgeries in your constituency have been providing personalised primary care that your constituents need and value.
We are very concerned that the Government plans to change the way in which GP services are provided will put at risk the comprehensive, high-quality patient care that GP practices in your constituency currently provide.
Commercial companies could run GP surgeries in your constituency
Most NHS GP practices are independently run by local GPs on behalf of their patients, your constituents. However, the Government is now encouraging commercial companies to run GP surgeries. These companies are accountable primarily to shareholders. Commercial companies are likely to be offered short-term contracts by Primary Care Trusts, which could lead to a short-term approach to care by these new providers.
How will GP-led health centres and polyclinics affect patients and GP surgeries?
The Government plans to introduce GP-led health centres across England and polyclinics in London. There maybe a case for establishing GP‑led health centres and polyclinics where local patients and clinicians agree proven need, however, there is no evidence that they are needed in every Primary Care Trust.
We are worried that many patients, particularly elderly patients or those with long-term conditions, may lose the continuity of care they currently receive from their local family doctor.
If resources are transferred from existing GP surgeries to GP-led health centres and polyclinics, we are concerned that many local surgeries will be destabilised and may not be able to survive. We believe NHS funds would be better spent on expanding the high-quality services that existing GP surgeries in your constituency currently provide.
Working with GPs to support your local surgeries
We are encouraging all MPs to meet with GPs in their constituency to identify a collaborative solution to local primary care needs and problems. We think that this approach will be more responsive to the needs of your constituents, than imposing a GP‑led health centre polyclinic in an area where it is not needed.
BMA advertising for the Support Your Surgery campaign
As part of the Support Your Surgery campaign, the advertisement
alongside appeared in the 9th June 2008 edition of The House Magazine.
If you would like any assistance in meeting GPs in your constituency, please contact Susan Solanki, BMA Parliamentary Liaison Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org