BMA advises GP’s in England and Wales not to accept any new patients
The British Medical Association escalated the tensions between themselves and Health Secretary Sajid Javid on Monday, October 25. Dr Richard Vautrey, the chairman of the BMA GP committee, reportedly sent a letter to all GP’s in England and Wales.
In his letter, Mr Vautrey suggested that they should not feel obliged to accept the Health Secretary’s plan. He told them to “not feel pressured to return to a traditional ten-minute treadmill of face-to-face consultations”. They were also advised not to take on any new patients sent to them by hospitals, or the NHS 111 service, until the standoff is resolved.
Surgeries were told that in order to make it impossible for patients to register with a new doctor, they should, “apply to close the practice list, to focus on the needs of existing patients”. Doctors were also advised not to carry out any extra night or weekend shifts, and to stop providing all ‘non-essential’ services. These include out-of-hours clinics.
“We believe Sajid Javid ignored GPs’ expertise and experience when he laid out his bully’s charter, and patient care will suffer as a result”, said the BMA letter.
It continued, “We are now calling on the Government to withdraw their plan, and work with us to introduce a new contract that ensures general practice is properly funded with a safer workload, and reduced bureaucracy, and ultimately provides better care and services for patients, and vastly improved working conditions”.
This latest issue started after Sajid Javid proposed a plan last week to increase the number of one-on-one appointments currently being made with patients. The Daily Mail has thrown its support behind the Health Secretary on this matter, as they claim GP appointments have decreased from 80 per cent, to 57 per cent post-pandemic.
It is believed that the BMA is ready to move ahead with its threatened ballot of union members, which could result in strike action by GP’s across the country, as reported by dailymail.co.uk.