Sunday, December 15, 2019
Home Proposals For Seven-Day NHS Are Immoral, Says Leading GP

Proposals For Seven-Day NHS Are Immoral, Says Leading GP

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of BMA GPs committee, says patients would suffer as doctors forced to sit in empty surgeries.


Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Proposals for seven-day NHS are immoral, says leading GP” was written by Denis Campbell Health policy editor, for theguardian.com on Thursday 19th May 2016 14.40 UTC

Expecting GP surgeries to open between 8am and 8pm every day is an immoral misuse of scarce NHS resources that could damage patients’ health, a leading family doctor has said.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the British Medical Association’s GPs committee, also said being forced to allow just 10 minutes for each patient appointment was “neither humane nor defensible”.

In a strongly worded attack on the government’s drive to make family doctors more accessible at weekends as part of a seven-day NHS, Nagpaul said: “We must reject the immorality of taking GPs away from caring for acutely ill patients to sit in empty surgeries superfluous to need.”

He called on the government to “end its obsession with seven-day opening” and said there were too few GPs and too little demand for weekend consultations to justify surgeries opening every day.

Turning to the length of consultations, Nagpaul told the BMA’s annual conference of local medical committees, which represent GPs, that the changing burden of illness brought about by the ageing population and rise in long-term conditions meant that patients needed more time, even if others had to wait as a result.

“Neither is it humane or defensible for GPs to be forced to manage patients with complex multiple problems in a pressure-cooker intensity of 10-minute aliquots,” he said. “GPs must be given longer consultation times in the interests of safe care, even if it means exposing a waiting list to see us.”

GP signs prescription form
The number of GPs working in England fell by 600 between 2014 and last year, from 34,700 to 34,100, figures show. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA

Nagpaul also poured scorn on “the repeated political mantra of 5,000 more GPs by 2020”, which the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has promised to deliver in England. The growing number of family doctors quitting the profession, and difficulty persuading enough medical graduates to train as GPs to meet recruitment targets, meant the government’s pledge was unlikely to succeed, Nagpaul suggested.

“With government figures stating 38% of GPs intend to quit in the next five years, mass resignation is not a threat – it’s an impending reality,” he said.

The latest statistics, released last month by the NHS’s Health and Social Care Information Centre, showed that the number of GPs working in England fell by 600 between 2014 and last year, from 34,700 to 34,100 – a 2% drop.

Nagpaul welcomed NHS England’s recent blueprint for improving GP services, called the General Practice Forward View, which contains 108 commitments and pots of money to help. But he warned it would not be enough to rescue struggling GPs from an “inexorable, unmanageable workload”.

The Department of Health did not respond to a request for comment.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

Published via the Guardian News Feed plugin for WordPress.

Newsletter

Subscribe Now! Get weekly updates delivered straight to your email inbox and never miss out on the latest news developments (BETA). Alternatively, follow us on social media (see below).

16,696FansLike
9,379FollowersFollow

Trending Now

Benefit payment dates over Christmas and New Year 2019-20

You may receive benefit payments early over Christmas and New Year. Check here to see if this applies to you and your family.

A homeless person dies every 19 hours in austerity Britain

Services are failing to protect homelessness people, say campaigners.

Elderly woman ‘jumped to her death’ after being wrongly refused pension payments

DWP admitted to an "administrative error" and apologised "unreservedly".

Charities report surge in donations and offers of support after Tory election win

Charities like the Trussell Trust experienced a spike in donations within hours of the general election outcome.

Benefit payment dates over Christmas and New Year (2018-19)

You may receive benefit payments early over the Christmas and New Year period.

More News

Charities report surge in donations and offers of support after Tory election win

Charities like the Trussell Trust experienced a spike in donations within hours of the general election outcome.

Just 53% of businesses actively seek and welcome disabled job hunters

75% of businesses admit that disabled applicants face barriers when job hunting.

Elderly woman ‘jumped to her death’ after being wrongly refused pension payments

DWP admitted to an "administrative error" and apologised "unreservedly".

Little festive joy for single parents this Christmas

Equifax reveals a third of single parents feel less confident about meeting their credit commitments over the Christmas period.

Newsletter

Get weekly news updates delivered straight to your inbox. Subscribe today!