ECONOMY

BMA urges Sajid Javid to tackle ‘abuse’ of GPs


T

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

In the letter to Sajid Javid BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said there needed to be a change in legislation to increase the maximum prison sentence for assault against emergency workers from 12 months to two years.

He also said the Government must publicly support the profession by condemning “the onslaught of abuse and media scapegoating of GPs and their staff”.

It comes after four members of staff suffered injuries 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.

It is soul-destroying for GPs and their staff to hear the narrative that they are ‘closed’

GPs have also come under fire in the media over the number of remote consultations now offered to patients.

Dr Nagpaul said GPs had worked tirelessly over the course of the pandemic, as had general practice staff.

He said the narrative that practices are not offering face-to-face appointments is “as dangerous as it is inaccurate”.

Dr Nagpaul added: “The reality, as you must know, is that with the constraints of the size of GP practice premises, there are limits on how many people can safely be present in a waiting room while adhering to appropriate infection control measures.

“GP practices, in the same way as hospitals, are using telephone, video and online consultations to assess patients (in accordance with NHS England guidance) and provide them with physical face-to-face consultations when this is needed.

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