Five minutes with . . . Chaand Nagpaul

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: (Published 02 February 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i640
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. 1The BMJ

GPs in the UK held a crisis summit on Saturday 30 January to debate how to tackle the current crisis facing the profession.1 The chairman of the BMA’s General Practitioners Committee, who gave an impassioned keynote talk to the conference, told The BMJ what he thinks should happen next

“The BMA’s local medical committees conference was a meeting of local representatives of GPs, many of whom were representing practices that are on the brink of collapse. The meeting drew on these fears of thousands of GPs, and they were relaying the reality on the ground. That reality is clearly not sustainable, and it is affecting the quality and safety of the care we’re providing.

“The most immediate thing is that GPs want to have a manageable and safe workload. They want measures that will, in real terms, reduce workload to manageable limits so that GPs can provide safe quality care on a daily basis. At the moment they believe that they are compromising care and, furthermore, that the excessive workload is damaging their own health.

“To achieve this, firstly there will need to be national and local systems of ensuring that we manage demand. Another element is providing general practice with the resources to enable GPs to have a manageable workload—so that will be new resources. I say this at a time when we don’t have enough GPs, so it will require investment in staffing. We need to provide real resources to stabilise general practice, especially where practices cannot survive with the current funding cuts.

“There is a strong feeling among GPs at this time that there is the additional burden of over-regulation of practices. The impact of Care Quality Commission inspections on practices can’t be over-exaggerated: it is a real pressure.

“It would be folly for the government to ignore this resounding message from the conference. Even talk about mass resignation2 is not so much theory but a reality that the government’s own statistics tell them is likely. We’ve come to a juncture where the government cannot ignore the messages from this conference or the reality. The fact that the secretary of state has talked about an announcement shows that they understand there is a problem. But what we’re saying is that understanding there’s a problem has to be followed up with real tangible policies and investments to address the core cause of this: neglect and chronic underfunding.”


Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i640


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