Dear Liberal Democrat MPs,
I am a GP in Tower Hamlets. I am emailing all MPs, one letter at a time. I have managed only the A B & C’s so far. I am writing to you as a group before getting to the D’s because you seem to hold the power at the moment.
Most people seem to be focused on GP commissioning and future providers. These are important issues. I have focused on a policy which has received little attention: the proposal that English residents can register with any GP in England. I am told that all three main political parties support this polciy. It sounds like a good idea, what’s not to like about it? But it is vital that you look at the effects of such a policy.
If this policy meant that general practice in England (because Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland are not proposing this) was, as a whole, undermined by this (became less efficient, more costly, at times unsafe), would you support it?
I have been a GP principal for 21 years. UK general practice is a wonderful thing, when done well. I am privileged to be in this job. I am spending hours writing to people like you because I believe that quality general practice is being eroded by successive governments.
If the KGB had infiltrated the Department of Health and the House of Commons, and if its aim was to undermine British general practice, then this policy (among others) might be the sort of thing they would try to implement. I offer this as a surreal metaphor. And yet this is how misguided this idea is.
I emailed Andrew Lansley a year ago to check if he really understood what this policy would do. Here is the exchange that followed:
The New Labour government carried out a ‘consultation’ on this issue a year ago. This was a PR exercise which was full of distortions, inaccuracies, and omissions. The Royal College of General Practitioners submitted a response. Have you read it? If not, here is the link:
For more information, see my blog www.onegpprotest.org
I understand that the convention is that MPs act on behalf of their constituents. I am not writing to you as a constituent but as a citizen who happens to be a GP. I do not expect a reply, but I ask merely that you check the facts so that your vote is not a blind act of obedience.
The Tredegar Practice 35 St Stephens Road London E3 5JD