Warwickshire doctors demand better NHS resources

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Doctors in Leamington, Warwick and Kenilworth have combined forces to urge patients to sign a petition and lobby their MPs for increased NHS funding.

They say things simply cannot carry on the way they are.

Among those leading the county-wide campaign is Dr Andrew Kennedy, who has been a GP in the area for the past 32 years and based at Warwick Gates Family Health Centre for the last 14 years.

As honorary medical secretary of the Warwickshire Local Medical Committee, Dr Kennedy said: “We are simply unable to cope with the current pressure on the health service.

“We understand entirely why our patients are becoming frustrated at the lack of appointments and delays in getting the treatment they need.The bedrock of the NHS is general practices like ours with 19 out of every 20 patients dealt with in our surgeries.

“But as a GP you never know what is coming through your door - it could be somebody with a cancer, serious depression or a chronic long-term condition. All need as much of your time as it takes but because of the shortage of staff - and patients’ expectations - that means everybody else has to carry on waiting.

“The lack of doctors and nurses working in often outdated premises is seriously underminding our ability to do our best for those who need us.

“Care for those with diabetes and asthma, previously carried out in hospital, is now increasingly carried out solely by GPs but the Government has failed to provide the support local practices need - we desperately need more doctors (a fifth of training places are unfilled), more practice staff, and more nurses.”

An NHS England spokesperson said: “Changes to the GP contract will significantly free up GPs’ time to provide more pro-active, accessible care by removing unnecessarily rigid performance targets.

“We have begun a major programme of work to help transform GP services, including the Prime Minister’s £50 million Challenge Fund. This will support GPs in improving access to services in more modern ways, with greater use of telephone, email and video consultations as well as more flexible appointment times.”

*People can show their support by signing the petition: http://bma.org.uk/working-for-change/your-gp-cares