Risk of GP Closures
The BMA (British Medical Association) has issued a review of the GPFV (General Practice Funding Forward), highlighting that investment is £3.7bn below the 11% target set two years ago.
In 2016, the Government’s NHS England’s GP Forward View acknowledged that general practice in England was struggling and laid out a plan for additional funding and support for GPs and their work.
The BMA’s assessment is that the scheme is not fulfilling its potential.
Chandra Kanneganti, GPFV policy lead for GPC and Chair of the North Staffs GP Federation said:
“The publication of the GPFV provided an opportunity to focus on turning around the crisis in general practice. Unfortunately, our monitoring shows that two years in, the GPFV is struggling to deliver its potential. Not enough funding is making it to the frontline, stress and burnout are still on the rise, practice closures continue to have a damaging effect on patients and staff and the number of GPs is falling let alone getting anywhere near the additional 5,000 promised. Although some individual schemes appear to be having some impact, overall we are concerned that as a package of measures GPFV simply doesn’t go far enough, fast enough.”
According to the BMA report, current funding for general practice is £3.7 billion short of the target 11% of the NHS budget. The autumn budget committed
600+ GP Closures
The report says that continued practice closures are an indication of the need for greater investment and BMA projections indicate that England could lose a further 618-777 practices between now and 2022.
The report states:
“The BMA is calling for the Government to use its planned review of long term NHS funding to address historic underinvestment in general practice. We are also calling for greater transparency and accountability at a national and local level on how GPFV funding is being spent.”
In the meantime, with an ageing population and longer life expectancy, the reduction of GP services is likely to mean longer waiting lists and further strain on A&E and other NHS services.
Private GPs London
For those wanting good access to GP healthcare, private GPs are an increasingly attractive option.
The Smart Clinics in London was founded in 2013 and is an independent company with a genuine commitment to quality healthcare at the heart of the business.
The company is best known for its unique membership based private GP service with access to a friendly team of experienced doctors, which entitles individuals, families and corporate members to unlimited GP access for a monthly fee. The company is committed to providing access to healthcare, so appointments are longer, waiting lists are shorter and evening/Saturday clinics are available too.
In addition to doctors, The Smart Clinics works with an extensive group of healthcare professionals from dentists and osteopaths to dermatologists and nutritionists, helping their patients to take control of their healthcare issues and access early treatment and assistance.