November 20: GPs caught in a perfect storm - an open letter to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt

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77 family doctors challenge Mr Hunt ahead of Tory dinner date in Beverley

From: Dr Mike Hardman, Dr Paul Longden, Dr Guy Clayton, Dr Tanya Web, Dr Janette Robson, Dr Allen Stephen, Dr Clive Henderson, Dr Daniel Thompson, Dr Helen Heaton, Dr Priya Reddy, Dr Jessica Airey, Dr Andrew Green, Dr Sree Reddy, Dr Louise Cooke, Dr Alan Francis, Dr Jaap Vermeijden, Dr Suzanne Partridge, Dr Sivarajan Krishnarjav, Dr Zoe Norris, Dr Susie Foster, Dr Louise Brotherton, Dr Jane Taylor, Dr Paul Davis, Dr Michel Morgan, Dr Richard Taylor, Dr Roger Doonan, Dr Susan Murphy, Dr Julian Clark, Dr Stephen Pedder-Smith, Dr Graham Heaton, Dr Chris Chant, Dr Paul Harris, Dr Margaret Ikpoh, Dr Sam Koshy, Dr Helen Rhodes, Dr Stephanie Mason, Dr Gareth Williams, Dr Joanne Walters, Dr Nigel Pickering, Dr Ian Sibley-Calder, Dr Patrick Naughton-Doe, Dr Richard Kurtis, Dr Anne Jeffreys, Dr Laurent Bare, Dr Anjani Kallay, Dr Harminder Suri, Dr Philip George, Dr Mark Hancocks, Dr Martin Russell, Dr Naila Loqueman, Dr James Cooling, Dr Lorna Eele, Dr Robert Mitchell, Dr Joanne Myers, Dr Mary Sowerby, Dr Tami Byass, Dr Noel Tinker, Dr Ian Bell, Dr Jonathon Martin, Dr Stephen Hickey, Dr Philip Mixer, Dr Robert Blackbourn, Dr Dafydd Williams, Dr Ric Harrison, Dr Jane Stephenson, Dr Andrew Brews, Dr Christopher Buswell, Dr Anthony Clarke, Dr Victoria Thompson, Dr Sara Saunders, Dr David Turpin, Dr Ruth Driver, Dr Nicole Nunn, Dr Gina Palumbo, Dr Cornelio Vincini, Dr Paul Phillips and Dr Michael Roberts.

THIS IS an open letter to East Yorkshire MPs Graham 
Stuart and Sir Greg Knight aheasd of the presidential 
dinner of Beverley and Holderness Conservatives tonight, in which Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt will be the guest speaker.

As GPs in East Yorkshire, we would be very grateful if our 
MPs could impress on the Secretary of State that he is coming to an area whose GPs are facing an unprecedented crisis which has the potential to destabilise the entire NHS and leave large sections of our population without a family doctor.

We believe we have been caught in a perfect storm of rising demand, caused by population change, advances in medicine, and the moving of care out of hospitals.

This has happened at the same time as a funding squeeze, with primary care’s slice of total NHS funding being reduced from 10.4 to 7.4 per cent.

GPs have tried to protect their patients from the impact of 
these cuts, and as a result 
have seen a rise in workload along with a real-terms pay decrease of 25 per cent since 2006, but this cannot continue any longer.

The serious financial uncertainty is preventing investment in practices and dissuading young doctors from becoming GPs, as well as causing those who can retire or go overseas to do so.

This places increasing burdens on the remaining GPs, 93 per cent of whom report 
that heavy workload undermines the quality of care that they can give.

East Yorkshire’s geography makes us particularly sensitive to these difficulties, with services in Bridlington being particularly vulnerable.

We are all facing huge problems recruiting new GPs, with many practices having unfilled vacancies, and over 
half the places on the local
GP training scheme remain unfilled.

GPs love our work, but many
of us hate our jobs, which have been made impossible to do 
well.

We hate being rushed, we hate not having enough time for 
those patients who need us, we hate worrying about making mistakes and we hate not being able to afford the staff or premises we need to provide great care.

You need to act now, before it is too late.

Please cut our paperwork, invest properly in general practice, address unsafe workload pressures, and prioritise high quality urgent 
out-of-hours GP care rather 
than wasting resources on routine Sunday services which studies have shown are not wanted.

Please listen to GPs when 
we say that general practices are the foundations on which the rest of the NHS is built, but without proper support, protection, and investment we will not be able to provide the care that your constituents deserve.