We would like to thank all 1,488 people who signed our petition to NHS England – the GP Survival committee have submitted this to the consultation.
The petition was up for less than four days, so to get that many signatures from GPs, practice managers, nurses, pharmacists, hospital doctors, and the whole range of people involved in delivering patient care in general practice was indicative of just how strong the feeling is on the ground against these draft proposals. We wish NHS England every success in revising them so as to demonstrate that they recognise the errors of the draft specifications, that they value the workforce’s morale, and that they trust NHS general practice to do the right thing by our patients without the burden of interminable reporting on what we are doing.
We hope and expect NHS England to come back with a document which delivers on the laudable aims behind Primary Care Networks – expanding the workforce, funding additional staff, allowing local areas to tackle the issues which matter to them, and helping community organisations work together more closely. If they do, GP Survival will back it to hilt. If they do not – if the revised document is just a watered-down version of the unachievable – practices will need to consider whether or not they opt-out of the DES.
If it comes to that – and as above we hope it doesn’t – we would urge practices in PCNs to opt-out collectively rather than individually. If needed, GP Survival will do what we can to co-ordinate the resignations in such a way that CCGs and STPs can make the necessary arrangements to ensure that they deliver the extended hours and other care outlined under the DES to patients.
A copy of the letter we sent, with signatories, is attached. Thank you to all of you again for responding so quickly: NHSE can be in no doubt as to the scale and depth of opposition to the draft document and the way it was released.