Tuesday, June 20, 2017

GP Shortage Crisis
– Redbridge Asked to build more Surgeries

This coming Thursday, 22 June, there will be a deputation, lead by Andy Walker, at Redbridge Full Council asking that they follow the example of other councils and build GP surgeries.

Wickford – July 2016
Milton B. Keynes – March 2016

Andy Walker writes:

There is a cross party consensus that our A&E at King George Hospital must remain open, so we would expect a similar consensus on the crisis we face with regard to access to a General Practitioner. It would appear that Redbridge Council does have substantial funds to invest in property – they recently made an unsuccessful bid for the Exchange Shopping Mall in Ilford – and while GP surgeries may not be such a money-spinner they would be profitable both on and off the balance sheet.

Dr Metha, the Chair of Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group, is reported to have said at a recent meeting that the GP shortage is so bad that patients are going direct to A&E rather than wait for a GP appointment. The view of the BHRUT board is that the GP shortage is an impediment on the trust reaching the 95% 4 hour A&E safety benchmark. This is not in the BHRUT board minutes, but has been noted by those attending the meetings.

Cllr Mark Santos is on record in the Recorder and at cabinet last week saying that the GP shortage in Redbridge is amongst the worst in London. The situation is set to get worse with GPs set to retire and difficulties finding replacements.

GP provision in Redbridge is patchy, some patients get a good service, others struggle to get an appointment. The GP list size is a key determining factor, Dr Metha has said the average GP list in Redbridge is 2600, it is as low as 1700 in other London boroughs.

The GP shortage has the potential to impact upon all of us – patients going directly to A&E because they cannot get a GP appointment causes unnecessary long waits and delays in treatment for those who really need to be there. There is strong evidence that such delays cause worse patient outcomes such as longer stays in hospital and for the most frail, unnecessary death.

It is reported that GPs do not want to work in Redbridge. This suggests that even if the council built GP surgeries the NHS would struggle to find the GPs to operate them. We staff the extra Crossrail trains to cope with growing population and will staff the expanded schools to cope with increased birth rate. It must be possible to find a way to find enough GPs to care for the sick in Redbridge.

The council is aware of the GP shortage and is working on solutions, but as yet has not committed to a feasibility study into building GP surgeries. A good turn out on Thursday will encourage councillors to do more on the issue..

1 comment:

  1. B21, you keep getting it wrong mate. It's Dr. MEHTA, not Metha.