LETTER: GP services at breaking point

As GP leaders from around the UK gathered for their national conference at the end of last week it was clear that politicians of all parties must finally realise that services across the country are at breaking point.

Practices in East Sussex are struggling due to the failure of successive governments to provide the investment needed to match the increasing demand on services.

Underfunding, increased red tape and GP shortages have left many patients struggling to get appointments, while 300 GP practices across the country are facing closure.

With recent BMA surveys revealing that almost a third of GP partners in the South East saying they are unable to fill vacancies in the past year and more than eight in 10 saying their workload is affecting their delivery of patient care, the situation requires urgent attention.

That’s why the BMA is calling for whoever is next in government to commit to bringing NHS spending in line with leading European countries and increase the general practice expenditure to 11 per cent of the overall health budget which would help plug the £2.5bn deficit.

Politicians must not duck these challenges. All parties must commit to repairing the fractures in general practice before it is too late.

DR RUSSELL BROWN

GP and BMA GP rep

for East Sussex