From: Dr Richard Vautrey, British Medical Association GP committee chair, Leeds.
THE BMA’s GP committee successfully secured an additional £321m for general practice in England in the past year. While this has helped struggling practices, it will take far greater levels of sustained investment to resolve the pressures on local GP services.
With rapidly rising workload pressures, practices cannot be expected to deliver a comprehensive service for as little as £151 per patient per year.
As the new figures in the BMA’s latest analysis of NHS spending on general practice show, the proportion of NHS funding going into GP services has fallen from 9.6 per cent in 2005/6 to 7.9 per cent in 2016/17.
GP services are effectively facing a £3.7bn funding shortfall because the Government has not reached the widely accepted goal of allocating 11 per cent of NHS investment to general practice.
The rate of extra investment has also noticeably slowed in the past year despite promises of an acceleration in resources to frontline patient care during the same period.
In this climate, many GP practices in England are struggling to cope with rising patient demand that is far outstripping current resources, especially as the profession is facing widespread staff shortages.
Recent BMA surveys have shown that a third of practices have vacancies unfilled for over a year and nine out of 10 GPs report their workload as unmanageable. More than half of GP practices feel they are under so much strain they are considering applying to have their practice list closed by NHS England. This is a shocking state of affairs that cannot be allowed to go on.
Patients need the Government to step up its funding commitment to general practice and deliver with greater speed its promised extra investment so that GP services are able to keep pace with the rising expectations and needs of the public.
Uniform is not answer
From: Christopher Tyne, Leeds.
REGARDING the debate about school uniforms, I was governor of a primary school in a residential area.
The head encouraged me to spend time in the school and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. While there might have been some mischievous behaviour, there was nothing out of the ordinary.
As to the specific question of school uniform, any historian is aware that as soon as you emphasise a uniform unduly, the uniform starts to take over.
Does not emphasis on the uniform give the impression that the school is more important than the scholars?
While I agree that there may well be disciplinary problems in many schools, imposing a rigid uniform policy – and antagonising many parents – does not seem the answer.
Challenge bad language
From: Mrs SM Abbott, Melbourne Road, Wakefield.
ANDREW Vine’s column (The Yorkshire Post, September 19) re foul language reminded me of an incident a few years ago at Leeds Bradford Airport.
We were flying back from Duesseldorf. A group of British soldiers were on board and their behaviour was to say the least “lively”.
However, while waiting in the long queue to go through passport control in Leeds, one of them was loudly using disgusting language. To my amazement my husband raised his voice and told him in no uncertain terms to watch his language, that there were elderly people and women present and that he was not in the “barracks”. He apologised immediately.
Should we I wonder, if it is safe to do so and no response forthcoming from officialdom. respond more when we witness such bad language or indeed behaviour? In this instance, it certainly worked.
Divide and rule tactics
From: Arthur Quarmby, Mill Moor Road, Meltham.
DO our Yorkshire urban politicians not understand why Government favours small urban groups (The Yorkshire Post, September 19) and opposes a united Yorkshire?
It is because small (even if substantial) urban groups are far easier to control. A united Yorkshire will be far too strong and influential – as is united Scotland.
“Divide and rule” remains the aim of central government, and we have suffered from discrimination far too long to risk losing the present opportunity.
Making of a mosque
From: Mr J Sowden, Nab Lane, Mirfield.
A MOST interesting article about early immigrants and how they used rooms in their homes as prayer rooms.
As builders from 1954, we were approached in the 1960s to convert an old Victorian single storey warehouse opposite the Dewsbury end of Warwick Road.
It used to belong to Youngs Woollen merchants and it was converted for the Gujarati people of the area.
I personally erected the minaret which has only recently been removed.
The mosque members were all lovely polite men, and very grateful for our work.
Put brakes on abuse
From: Allan Ramsay, Radcliffe Moor Road, Radcliffe.
IF the vicious abuse of MPs must stop, so must the vicious abuse of cyclists.