MORE than 10,000 people have signed the BMA’s petition calling for the Westminster government to properly fund general practice and source more desperately-needed GPs.
The petition, launched less than a month ago, is part of the BMA’s Support Your Surgery campaign, which explains the impact that a lack of government funding and a shortage of GPs is having on both the profession and patients.
It also sets out why Covid-19 has led to doctors having to provide care in different ways, with increased infection control measures making it difficult to hold as many face-to-face appointments as before the pandemic.
Dr Richard Vautrey, GP Committee chair at the BMA, said: ‘We should not have to have a petition about England needing a properly funded GP service. Patients should be getting the level of care they deserve and GP practices must be properly resourced to give it.
‘The fact that more than 10,000 people have signed our petition in less than a month goes to show how important a well-resourced GP service is to our patients, and the government needs to listen and take action.
‘GPs and their teams have continued to see patients face-to-face throughout the pandemic, but this has been made increasingly hard – not just because of the pandemic but also because of rocketing workloads, chronic staff shortages and a lack of funding.
‘We’re acutely aware of how frustrating this is for patients who just want timely access to their GP practice, whether that’s a telephone or face-to-face consultation; we are equally exasperated with the current situation, and the government’s so far futile attempts to make any difference.
‘That’s why it’s so important that we, along with our patients, continue to shout from the rooftops about what general practice needs, and even more people put their names to our petition.
‘Everyone has a GP, and every patient deserves timely, high-quality care. The government has currently put us in a position where we can no longer guarantee that, which isn’t fair to the exhausted staff who continue to go above and beyond, or, most importantly, to our patients to whom we have a duty of care.’