Polegate GP surgery addresses general practice 'crisis' following 'underfunding and neglect'

A GP surgery in Polegate has spoken about the ‘crisis’ which faces the NHS following ‘decades of underfunding and neglect’.

Manor Park Medical Centre in High Street has posted a letter on social media from Rebuild General Practice, a group representing GPs from across the country calling for support to rebuild the general practices.

It reads, “Before we tell you anything else, let us tell you why we became GPs. To care for people. To care for you.

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"We want to give great care, to meet you, to listen to you, and to look after you and your families. It may not feel this way right now, but all we can say is the truth.

Manor Park Medical Centre. Picture from Google Maps

“And the truth is – general practice is in crisis. Not because of us, or the staff who work with us. It is because of decades of underfunding and neglect, broken government promises and political contempt for you, our patients, that the system is fractured.

“This crisis is putting you, and us, at an increased risk.”

The group said there are now 2,200 patients for every GP in England while nine in 10 GPs fear patients aren't always safe at their surgeries.

Almost a quarter of GPs know colleagues who’ve taken their own lives due to work pressures, according to Rebuild General Practice.

Lewes MP Maria Caulfield with James MacCleary. Picture from Lewes District Council

The letter continues, “This isn’t your fault. But it isn’t ours either. We can’t sit by and let our leaders destroy the general practice we all need.

"In 2019, the UK Government promised to deliver a workforce plan for general practices and the NHS including attracting ‘6,000 more doctors into general practices’. In 2022, we are still waiting.”

The group said it is calling for more support to rebuild general practices, including the Government delivering its commitment of an addition 6,000 GPs in England by 2024.

Rebuild General Practice also said it wants the Government to tackle the factors driving GPs out of the profession while setting out a plan to reduce GP workload and in turn improve patient safety.

The group has urged residents to write to their local MP to insist they ‘tackle the workforce and workload crisis in general practice’.

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Lewes James MacCleary said, "Access to GPs in towns like Polegate has become one of the top issues raised with me by residents.

"I fully support the call from doctors at Manor Park Medical Centre for more recruitment and better support for GPs and their staff.”

Lewes MP Maria Caulfield said, “Funding is available for a brand new medical hub for Polegate but it currently comes with over 1,000 new homes .

"Residents just won't accept this with over 4,000 Polegate residents objecting to the recent Mornings Mill development and asking for a stand-alone medical centre.”

In December a petition was started by patients of Victoria Medical Centre in Eastbourne with the aim of reducing call wait times.

New NHS data in February also revealed that East Sussex is one of the worst locations in England when it comes to people waiting more than 28 days for a GP appointment.