Public outcry over GP-bashing in UK parliament and media has led Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA chair, to request an urgent meeting with the prime minister, Pulse reports.
A Downing Street statement, published in the Daily Mail last week, read: “The public rightly may choose to want to see their GP face to face – and GP practices should be making that facility available to their patients.”
Dr Nagpaul’s letter warned that half of GPs surveyed by the BMA reported that they had experienced verbal abuse from patients.
Sajid Javid met with Dr Richard Vautrey on Thursday, the BMA confirmed on Friday, and the BMA called on Javid to urgently:
- Provide clear public backing for GPs, recognising the huge pressure they are under.
- Invest urgently in primary care and remove unnecessary bureaucracy.
- Support increased sentencing for those who assault healthcare and emergency workers.
- Commit to working with the BMA on a national campaign to stop the abuse of NHS staff.
Dr Richard Fieldhouse, chair of NASGP, said: “Every GP knows how anxious some patients can feel when they have a health concern about themselves or someone they care for, and how quickly this can sometimes change to frustration and anger.
“All GPs also know how upsetting it is to be at the receiving end of verbal or physical abuse, and how important it is to support each other through it.
“It is absolutely right that the BMA are taking GPs’ concerns rights to the highest level. Without the government’s full backing of GPs, and laser-focused messaging, this is only going to get worse.
“Professionally isolated GP locums are particularly vulnerable, and our advice to all locums is to join an NASGP Locum Chambers. Even if you don’t feel the need for support at the moment, there are others who’d certainly benefit from yours.”