Patient cuts punish healthy

Media reports about NHS England's plans to use a private company to remove patients who have not used their local GP practice in the last five years if they don't reply to two letters is another example of how the Government's drive to save money could have a detrimental impact on patient care and safety.

Monday, 8th August 2016, 12:00 pm

Every person across the UK has a fundamental right to be registered with a local GP, and they shouldn’t be punished for being too well and not needing to see a GP recently.

None of us know when we will become ill and need to see a GP urgently.

We all, therefore, need to be registered with a local practice. Worryingly, the biggest impact could be on the most vulnerable patient, who may not understand the importance of responding to letters.

We are currently facing an unprecedented crisis in general practice, with rising levels of workload, a fall in resources and greater staff shortages.

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Surely it is clear that the solution lies not in the continual chipping away of core services, but in greater investment.

Dr Richard Vautrey

BMA GP Committee Deputy Chairman