GP leaders say Thérèse Coffey’s NHS plan will make ‘no tangible difference’ – UK Politics Live | Politics

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Good morning. The House of Commons sits properly again today and Therese Coffey, the new health secretary and deputy prime minister, will make a statement on plans to improve the NHS. Liz Truss has said that at the start of her premiership she wants to focus on three priorities: health, tax cuts and energy. During the Tory leadership contest, Truss talked a lot about the other two issues, but she said almost nothing about her thoughts on health policy. Her campaign issued nearly 50 press releases, but only one of them mentioned the NHS, and only three mentioned health.

Some aspects of the announcement have been briefed overnight and Coffey will state “her expectation that anyone who needs one will have an appointment with a GP within two weeks”. Older readers may recall that some 20 years ago the Labor government set a target for everyone to be able to see a GP within two days, not two weeks – although this led to GPs refusing to make appointments more than two days in advanceand was later scrapped by the Tories.

My colleague Dennis Campbell have a preview of the announcement here.

So far, doctors’ leaders have been unimpressed — mainly because they say Coffey is not addressing the main problem, which is a lack of staff for the workload they face.

Prof Martin Marshall, Chairman of Royal College of GPssaid:

Draining a difficult service with multiple expectations without a plan for how they will deliver will only serve to add to the intense workload and workforce pressures GPs and our teams face, while having minimal impact on the care that patients receive.

And Dr. Farah Jameel, Chairman of British Medical Association‘s GP committee for England, said in a statement:

The aim for GPs to now offer appointments within two weeks is just one more addition to a tick-box culture that highlights a tone-deaf government approach when it comes to those delivering the service on the ground.

GPs must be freed up to deliver the care that we know patients so desperately need – this means we need a real strategy to deal with the workforce crisis. There are simply not enough GPs and staff to provide the care our patients need and deserve.

Today’s GP data shows that between August 2021 and August 2022 we lost the equivalent of 314 full-time GPs. We now have the equivalent of 1,850 fewer fully qualified full-time GPs than we had in 2015, with 16% more patients per day. general practitioner. We are losing more GPs than we can recruit and this combined with cost of living pressures is starting to spell the end of GPs as we know them…

If the new health secretary had met with us before this announcement, we could have proposed a workable strategy to deal with the crisis unfolding before us for this winter and beyond – instead, we really have minor tweaks that won’t make a difference difference for patients struggling to access care.

Coffey has been giving interviews this morning. I will briefly summarize what she has said.

Here is the agenda for the day.

9:00 a.m.: The Institute for Fiscal Policy Studies is holding a briefing on what is expected in Kwasi Kwarteng’s “emergency budget” tomorrow.

9.30: Census data for Northern Ireland, including figures on religious affiliation, is published.

After 10:00 a.m.: Thérèse Coffey, the new Health Secretary, makes a statement to MPs about plans to improve patient access to the NHS.

11.30: Downing Street holds a lobby briefing.

12:00: The Bank of England publishes its decision to change the interest rate.

14.15: The CBI, the Resolution Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation give evidence to the Commons Treasury committee on the cost of living.

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