The Tory Health Secretary has announced funding to “help” GPs arrange more face-to-face appointments with patients, in response to complaints from the public.
But there are huge problems with the scheme – of course there are; it’s a Tory plan to divert blame for short-changing the NHS onto people working in the service and away from themselves.
So before you watch the video clip, read Jonathan Ashworth’s comment – and then the response below:
Where are the extra 6,000 GPs you promised us at the 2019 general election? https://t.co/W77PZADy62
— Jonathan Ashworth (@JonAshworth) October 14, 2021
Govt sets aside £250,000,000 from existing budgets to help GPs in England offer more face to face appointments. There are about 7500 GP practices in England. That is £33,000 each practice or, I estimate, barely a quarter of a doctor with oncosts. And it is not extra money.
— Paul Lewis (@paullewismoney) October 14, 2021
So it’s not enough money to make a real difference in each GP practice, and the cash is taken from existing budgets, meaning some other part of the NHS will lose out. Robbing Peter to pay Paul, as the saying goes.
And there’s no acknowledgement of the reasons GPs are under pressure in the first place – all connected to Tory deprivation:
Tory ‘GP’ Plan is a cruel diversion to create tension between GP & Patients.
If your GP practice is under pressure it’s because the government cut funding, other GP practices closed & medical school intake stalled for a decade.
Don’t let them blame it on hard working doctors.
— Tory Fibs (@ToryFibs) October 14, 2021
So the Tory governments of 2010 onward cut funding, closed GP practices, and put people off training as doctors.
Here's a headline from 2016. A government committed to levelling up would have sorted out the GP crisis 5 years ago. In fact, the NHS has been unsafely staffed for the 34 years I've worked in it. Rather than blaming the staff, why not vote in a govt to deliver to safe staffing? pic.twitter.com/xAI3rTbPzE
— Dr Phil Hammond 💙 (@drphilhammond) October 13, 2021
The Tories knew there was a lack of manpower in GP surgeries since at least 2016.
There are 1,803 fewer full-time GPs now than in 2015.
That's the root cause of the crisis – the government should take responsibility instead of scapegoating GPs.
— Richard Burgon MP (@RichardBurgon) October 14, 2021
There are nearly 2,000 fewer GPs than six years ago and the Tory plan will do nothing to change this.
He is setting up your local GP surgery to take the blame for future failures.
And of course he is denying it (because he has already been challenged):
Health Secretary Sajid Javid denies suggestion he is "stirring up anti-GP rhetoric" as he announces plan to get GPs to see more patients in person this winter https://t.co/UDqEITkaWz
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) October 14, 2021
Strangely, despite the BBC’s tweet, none of Javid’s comments in the article address the issue. Perhaps it was mentioned in a previous draft and edited out by a Tory in the Corporation’s hierarchy?
Still, we can all see what’s going on:
Javid translated: 'the point of this is to make people angry with GPs instead of us and to get the Mail off our backs.'
He couldn't say where all the locums will come from and after two attempts Kearney gave up. #r4today @bbcr4today #NHS
— Briefcase Michael (@BriefcaseMike) October 14, 2021
Here’s a snapshot of the current situation that Javid’s scheme is unlikely to help:
Already one receptionist in tears this morning, due to patient abuse on phone, directly related tot he anti-GP media campaign
— PK (@pkonline84) October 14, 2021
And this is telling: if Javid’s scheme is so good, why has he cried off speaking at the annual conference of the Royal College of GPs?
Sajid Javid has cancelled his speech to today's Royal College of GPs annual conference.
Meanwhile, Dr Richard Vautrey of the BMA says he is hugely dismayed with the package Javid announced today.
Javid clearly can't defend his government's failure to support GPs and patients.
— Bill Esterson (@Bill_Esterson) October 14, 2021
Some of us may have satirical fun with it…
It is important that people turn up to their booked GP appointments. https://t.co/wXfLaqfRu1
— Dr Duncan Robertson (@Dr_D_Robertson) October 14, 2021
… but in context this is shocking hypocrisy from the Tories. Here’s David Shepherd to explain:
Can anyone explain why as a Dr I can 'do my best' but make 1 fatal mistake; be sued & possibly lose my career but a PM can make a series of culpable errors costing 1,000s their lives and folk go 'Oh bless, he needs a holiday'?
— David Shepherd 💙 (@davesheph) October 13, 2021
It’s a very good question. But it’s just another one that the Tories won’t answer.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:
Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.
1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.
2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical
3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/
Join the Vox Political Facebook page.
4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com
And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!
If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!
Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.
The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here: