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Media flak puts GPs at 'breaking point'

Media flak puts GPs at 'breaking point'

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Negative comments about GPs will make them ‘far less able and willing’ to engage with commissioning, a health leaders group claims. 

The NHS Clinical Commissioners said member practices are voicing ‘growing concerns’. 

Recent reports about A&E departments, primary care provision, the GP contract and out of hours care have whipped up a ‘fire-storm’, according to Dr Steve Kell, co-chair of the representative membership group. 

He said practices across the country are at breaking point, with GPs “ready to buckle under the strain.” 

“Our role is to speak for local commissioners, but we recognise that the morale of GPs is fundamental to how CCGs can operate. CCGs need the foundations of strong general practice upon which to build.,” said the Dr Kell, who is also chair of Bassetlaw CCG

“It is clear that the roots of the problem are complex with many different factors coming into play. More than that there is no one over-arching issue causing the problems and local dynamics clearly play a major part – meaning that a one-sized fits all top-down imposed solution is bound to fail.” 

Dr Kell believes pressure in GP surgeries and A&E departments are “manifestations” of pressures throughout the system. 

He said:  “CCGs are best placed to lead on developing local solutions for local circumstances. However we do believe the solutions for the current problems have to be ones for the system as a whole.”

NHS Clinical Commissioners has called on NHS England, the Foundation Trust Network and the NHS Trust Development Agency to help identify solutions at scale, which commissioners could implement. 

NHS England has yet to comment. 

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