Barnet LMC urges NHS to keep neighbourhood GPs local
This week Barnet Local Medical Committee (LMC) formally responded to Healthcare for London’s ‘Consulting the Capital’ and it raised major concerns over some of the proposed changes.
Barnet LMC is concerned that the proposed introduction of polyclinics will seriously impact on GP surgery locality, continuity of care and long standing patient-doctor relationships. The LMC suggests that a multidisciplinary local approach should be taken with regard to end of life-care, use existing service providers with whom the patients will be more familiar. LMC members also believe that the current general practice model is highly valued as it provides quality care and continuity of care. The polyclinic model would not offer patients the same choice as the current ways of working and would weaken the GPs' role in being patients' advocates.
Dr John Brett, Chair of Barnet LMC, says: “We support a number of the proposals in ‘Consulting the Capital’, for example, the principles of delivering healthcare that are better, safer and more accessible. However, the consultation makes the huge assumption that the most frequent users of Barnet’s GP surgeries – the chronically sick, carers, the elderly and parents with young children – would happily give up their neighbourhood surgery to travel across London to get to one of 150 polyclinics. Patients and carers depend on, and value, being seen by a local GP who has known them personally much of their life; this continuity of care is unlikely to happen if Barnet’s GPs and their practice teams are forced into fewer buildings.”
Dr Tony Stanton, Joint Chief Executive of Londonwide LMCs, adds: “We understand the consultation, which has attracted just over 2,000 responses, cost around £11million – enough to provide nearly 10,000 patients living with depression access to cognitive behavioural therapy. GPs are already working in networks and, in many cases, grouping together to offer wider services to their patients. The NHS needs to build on this and provide funding to strengthen practice teams. We also need more healthcare professionals working in the community”.
Notes to Editors:
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- A copy of the report can be found at: http://www.lmc.org.uk/news/news-detail.aspx?dsid=1676
Londonwide LMCs represents the capital’s 6000 GPs and their practice teams and encouraged GPs to respond personally to the consultation. In addition to the report, a further 21 local medical committees have submitted a formal responses to the consultation – see appendix for a summary of these