BMA urges Sajid Javid to fight against “abuse” of general practitioners

The British Medical Association has written to the Health Secretary urging him to step in and fight the “growing wave of abuse” against GPs.

In the letter to Sajid Javid, the chairman of the board of the BMA, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, said there must be a change in the legislation to increase the maximum prison term for assaulting rescuers by 12 months. at two years.

He also said the government must publicly support the profession by condemning “abuses and media scapegoats by general practitioners and their staff.”

It comes after four staff members were injured at the Florence House Medical Practice in Openshaw, Manchester on Friday afternoon.

Two of the victims were taken to hospital with head injuries and a 59-year-old man was arrested and charged with assault.

General practitioners have also been criticized in the media over the number of remote consultations now offered to patients.

Calling for a meeting with the government, Dr Nagpaul said GPs have worked tirelessly during the pandemic, as have GP staff.

He said the account that the firms did not offer face-to-face meetings was “as dangerous as it is inaccurate.”

Dr Nagpaul added: “The reality, as you should know, is that with the constraints of the size of general practitioner practice premises, there are limits on the number of people who can be safely present in the room. a waiting room while respecting the appropriate infection control measures.

“GP practices, much like hospitals, use phone, video and online consultations to assess patients (in accordance with NHS England guidelines) and provide them with face-to-face physical consultations when needed. .

“Many practice rooms are too small and poorly ventilated, and with high circulating levels of Covid, we have a duty to protect our older and clinically vulnerable patients from infection when they visit their GP. “

He said the truth was “GPs are seeing more patients than ever” and “are working more hours than ever”.

NHS GP dating data shows there were almost a million more dates in July 2021 than pre-pandemic (July 2019) levels, he added.

“While GPs are vilified for offering telephone consultations, they do so purely for the safety of their patients and what our survey actually shows is more exhausting for GPs and results in longer days.

“It is destructive for GPs and their staff to hear the story that they are ‘closed’.”

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