General practitioners have suffered “appalling” and life-threatening attacks from citizens, Health Minister Sajid Javid told MPs.
On his first appearance before the Commons Health Committee, Mr. Javid said, “I will never tolerate any form of abuse by health workers of any kind.”
He added, “We have seen terrible abuse by family doctors. I won’t mention the practice, but we saw serious injuries and someone could have lost his life in the attacks we saw. “
His comments on Tuesday followed increasing criticism of general practitioners and frustration in public about difficulties in making appointments. This is despite the fact that almost more than two-thirds of the appointments take place face-to-face on the same day, but are carried out by fewer general practitioners with increasing patient demand.
Last week, NHS England pledged £ 5m in funding for security improvement practices, including the use of panic buttons.
Earlier this year The independent one GPs in London reportedly received a “storm” of patient abuse. Employees in a practice received hate mail in which employees were threatened because of their role in the introduction of the Covid vaccination.
When asked by former Health Secretary and Committee Chairman Jeremy Hunt whether the government would set goals for general practitioners for the percentage of in-person appointments, Mr Javid said there would be no goals.
However, he said that patients should be able to choose an in-person appointment if they so choose and confirmed that the NHS would publish data on the percentage of in-person appointments held by each family doctor office.
The Minister of Health also admitted that large numbers of patients went to the emergency room because they could not be seen by general practitioners due to concerns from the Royal College of Emergency Medicine.
However, he admitted the government was not on track to meet a key goal of increasing the number of primary care physicians working in the NHS by 6,000 by 2024-25.
He also announced that the government will release a plan this month to clean up the elective care backlog. He said it would include plans for the number of nurses and doctors needed to clear the backlog and how the NHS can “maximize” its use of the private sector.
Waiting times would “increase before they get better,” he said, although the NHS would see more people in the months and years to come after increased funding from the Treasury Department.
In his fall budget last week, Chancellor Rishi Sunak made a pledge to the NHS in addition to the $ 12 billion announced in September
Overall, the budget of the NHS England will increase by 3.8 percent per year in real terms.
Mr Hunt urged Mr Javid for details on how many doctors, nurses and other staff would be needed to deal with the backlog in elective care for the NHS. He didn’t provide details, however, saying his department had “internal estimates” that required “fine-tuning”.
Mr. Hunt said, “The concern a lot of people have is that there is absolutely no detail about the extra doctors and nurses that you think will be needed.” The former health minister added that this was worrying as the ministers could not be held accountable due to the lack of clarity. “
Saffron Cordery, deputy general manager of NHS Providers, which represents NHS trusts, later said: “MPs were right to press the Minister of Health about the critical challenges facing the health workforce. The shortage of staff and the resulting unsustainable workload on existing NHS staff is the biggest problem facing the health sector today.
“We need a robust long-term personnel plan and more long-term investments in staff development, training and further education. To be meaningful, this plan needs to focus on the number of manpower needed, not only to fill existing gaps, but also to add more capacity to the system. ”
In July, Health Education England was asked by the Department of Health and Welfare to develop a long-term workforce plan. Mr Javid told MPs the plan had a 15-year perspective and should be released by spring 2022.