General Practice ‘on brink of collapse’ says chair of BMA’s GPC

Credit: This story was first seen on Sky News

The NHS has been paralysed by Brexit and general practice is on the “brink of collapse”, a leading doctor has said.

Sky News reports Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the British Medical Association’s GPC, depicts a bleak portrayal of practices, saying they are understaffed to the point of becoming “frighteningly vulnerable”.

Speaking at an annual medical conference, he will also accuse politicians of turning a blind eye to the needs of the health and social care systems in England.

“Since we last met a year ago, the NHS has been paralysed by the vote for the UK to leave the European Union,” he will say. “Far from the pledged investment of an extra £350m per week, audaciously plastered on double decker buses, the reality is we’ve been cheated with the opposite: a deep freeze in NHS spend, continued savage austerity cuts and with politicians turning a blind eye to the spiralling pressures affecting the entire health and social care system.”

He called on the government to increase NHS funding, saying the only real solution can be a political one.

And he urged politicians to end what he called “their callous disregard of the health needs of citizens in an NHS that shamefully trails Europe in its funding, numbers of doctors and infrastructure”.

Dr Nagpaul will address the national conference of Local Medical Committees, which represents grassroots GPs, in Edinburgh.

He says the service is “several thousand GPs short”, adding: “The plight of general practice remains parlous and on the brink of collapse. Individual practices have become frighteningly vulnerable, with one in 10 practices surveyed by the BMA saying they’re not sustainable.”

He says “record numbers” of practices have shut down and that one in three practices are unable to fill GP vacancies.

Delegates at the conference will discuss motions including whether to charge patients for treatment not available on the NHS and opposing putting GPs in A&E departments.

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