Dr Richard Fieldhouse, NASGP chair, has co-signed a letter from NHS doctors about the risk from a potential second lockdown this winter.
The letter said: “Restrictions and lockdown have recognised value in pandemic control and we fully supported the first lockdown when little was known about the virus.
“The position now is transformationally different: after the short, initial lockdown phase, the harms to long term health and wellbeing begin to outweigh the benefits.”
The letter was co-signed by 66 GPs including Dr Fieldhouse and another NASGP member, Dr Trefor Roscoe. Many of the signatories work as NHS GP locums.
Dr Richard Fieldhouse, said: “Too many patients have been staying away from their GP surgeries, and as we’re now starting to understand, this may be causing more harm than good.
“General practice must have the resources to operate fully and safely this Winter. Any future messaging from the Government needs to make absolutely clear that general practice is open for business, and there are hundreds of GP locums waiting in the wings with the capacity, skills and flexibility to support practices and patients.”
Dr Ellie Cannon shared the letter, and the full list of signatories, on Twitter on Saturday 3 October.
— Dr Ellie 😷🧼 🤲🏼 (@Dr_Ellie) October 3, 2020
The previous Wednesday (30 September), the GPC called for a new series of measures for GPs this autumn and winter, including free PPE, extension and expansion of the Covid Support Fund until March 2021, and supply of equipment for home working.