Patients ‘in danger’ from £22bn NHS cuts, East London GPs warn

PUBLISHED: 16:44 29 December 2016 | UPDATED: 09:37 30 December 2016

Downing Street demo in 2015 over surgery closure threats

Downing Street demo in 2015 over surgery closure threats

Save Our NHS campaign

Patients are in danger from their local GPs being overworked, surgeries in London’s deprived East End are warning.

East End MPs Rushanara Ali and Jim Fitzpatrick join protest two years ago in Downing Street against surgery closure threatsEast End MPs Rushanara Ali and Jim Fitzpatrick join protest two years ago in Downing Street against surgery closure threats

Cutbacks planned in the NHS is shifting much of the public healthcare away from hospitals and onto local surgeries at ‘primary’ level which can’t cope.

The government plans to cut £22 billion from the NHS budget.

But 45 GPs and health care managers across Tower Hamlets warned today of dangers to patients.

“The NHS is unprecedented financial crisis,” their statement says. “The proportion spent (per head) on the NHS is going down year-on-year and is one of the lowest in Europe.

Protesters have been demonstrating for four years against threat to surgeriesProtesters have been demonstrating for four years against threat to surgeries

“Most acute hospital trusts are in deficit and the proportion of NHS allocation spent on General Practice is at an all time low—at a time when work is being transferred from secondary to primary care.”

The warning from the clinics and surgeries highlights a “workforce crisis” in General Practice.

“Most GPs feel that their workload is either excessive or unmanageable,” they point out. “Young doctors are not choosing General Practice as a career and older doctors are leaving.

“This is not safe for patients—the NHS Sustainability & Transformation Plans signed off on December 23 demand £22 billion in ‘savings’. It is not possible to ‘save’ £22bn without severe cuts in service.”

Signing surgeries' warning... Dr Anna Livingstone from Limehouse practiceSigning surgeries' warning... Dr Anna Livingstone from Limehouse practice

NHS bosses say they need to meet the needs of future patients “in a sustainable way”, to close gaps in health, finance and care quality by 2020 by making changes to how people live and how healthcare is managed. The emphasis is being put on preventative care.

But the East End GPs say the Sustainability & Transformation Plan is merely financially-driven—which they slammed as “Slash, Trash and Privatise”.

They are demanding the plans be stopped and money be restored “to adequately resource” the NHS to provide care the public deserves.

Those signing the warning are: Dr Anna Livingstone and Dr Naureen Bhatti (Limehouse Practice), Dr Jackie Applebee (Tredegar), Dr Ruth Vickers (formerly of Limehouse), Dr Mike Fitchett and Dr Andrea Green (Island Health centre), practice manager Mostafa Farook (Barkantine), Dr Sella Shanmugadasan (Harley Grove centre), practice manager Maggie Falshaw (Jubilee Street), Dr Archana Spahn, Dr Dilesh Patel, Dr Naimish Amin, Nurse Carline King, practice manager Laura Ross and staff (all Rushton Street practice), Dr Ingrid Franklin (Bromley-by-Bow), Dr Emily Woolridge and Dr Rosanna Pollen (Bethnal Green centre), Dr Ben Hart (Crisp Street), Dr Shaheena Shakoor (locum), Dr Raquel Gracia (East One & Cable Street), Dr Soraya Boomla (St Stephen’s), Dr Alison Smailes (Crisp Street), Dr Sangeeta Rana (Merchant Street), Dr Nirupam Talukder (Grove Road), Dr Kirti Shah (Grove Road), Dr Dimple Varma (Brayford Square), Dr Tai Okun (Harford centre), Dr Jennie Read (Limehouse centre), Dr Win-Leung Siu (XX Place), Dr Kobir Ahmed, Dr Saida Desai, Dr Mohammed Sanaullah, Dr Alim Uddin, Dr Anwara Ali and pactice mnager Emma Stanford (all Spitalfields practice), Dr Naomi Beer (Jubilee Street), Dr Shamira Bhikha (Tower Hamlets), Dr Haroon Rashid (Albion centre), Dr Mike Callaghan (St Stephen’s centre), Dr Selvaseelan Selvarajah and Dr Munmun Rashid (Wapping Group).

The Royal College of GPs has also voiced concerns that NHS priority was now “fire fighting” to deal with emergencies rather than chronic illnesses which were being offloaded onto overworked local surgeries. It was causing delays for routine surgery visits, they said, with patients often having to wait several weeks for a GP appointment.

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