Sheffield City Council has today voted to support the campaign against the closure of Norfolk Park Surgery.
At the Full Council meeting at Ponds Forge, an emergency resolution was passed following a public petition being brought to the June meeting by local campaigners
In the debate it was highlighted that the national GP shortage and the Government’s failure to provide sufficient funding for primary care and GP services.
Whilst the resolution was supported by the Council, the only Conservative Councillor refused to support it and abstained.
In his speech to Full Council, Councillor Jack Scott, said:
“73 years ago this week, out of the rubble and ashes of the second world war, the NHS was imagined by the Liberal’s William Beveridge and then delivered by Labour’s Nye Bevan.
“Today, the NHS still represents the very best of our society. It is a proud daily, living, breathing symbol of the power of our collective spirit – everyone contributing, the strong helping the weak, shaped around our needs not our wealth, that binds together our shared humanity. A beacon of equality, of fairness, and of compassion – a wonder of the modern world.
“GPs are at the beating heart of this precious, world-renowned symbol. Rooted in the daily realities of their local community – quite literally, with their finger on the pulse of our community.
“But this government has undermined GPs and added pressure upon pressure. And now, we are seeing the consequences of this.
“In Norfolk Park, our GP Surgery is under threat, with a consultation on losing a state-of-the-art building that is less than 10 years old. In a community where health inequalities are especially stark. The national GP shortage has made finding new partners almost impossible. Sustained cuts across the public sector have piled pressure on GP surgeries. The Conservatives undermining and underfunding is causing a crisis in Norfolk Park.
“Our community is rallying like never before, with our TARA and Cllr Miskell and Wilson leading the charge to save this precious service. Together I am sure we will prevail.
“But the real lesson is that what’s happening in Norfolk Park today could so easily spread to other parts of the city tomorrow. The government must address the GP crisis that it has caused and it must do so today. If it continues to fail, other communities will be threatened with the loss of their most precious community resource.”
Please see below a copy of the motion
NOTICE OF MOTION REGARDING “GP SERVICES” – GIVEN BY COUNCILLOR JACK SCOTT AND TO BE SECONDED BY COUNCILLOR RUTH MILSOM
That this Council:-
- recognises that general practices across the country are at breaking point, putting the whole of the NHS at risk;
- believes that Primary Care is the ‘Bedrock of the NHS’, dealing with around 90% of patient contacts, and acknowledges that, currently, GPs and their teams are at the forefront of helping communities recover from the pandemic; caring for people whose mental and physical health has been affected by Covid 19; and leading the Vaccination programme; whilst at the same time, they are dealing with the backlog of people on waiting lists elsewhere in the NHS;
- notes that:-
- in 2016 the Conservative Government promised to increase GPs by 5,000 in 5 years but that the overall number of GPs has seen little growth since 2015;
- ii) the number of patients per practice is 22% higher than it was in 2015 but the GP workforce has not grown with this demand; there are now just 0.46 fully qualified GPs per 1,000 patients in England – significantly below the average number of physicians in comparable nations;
iii) there is a growing backlog of care in the NHS; long waits for specialist treatment are skyrocketing and pressure on Accident and Emergency Departments is reaching pre-pandemic levels;
- iv) General practice and general practitioners are under pressure; a recent survey by the British Medical Association (BMA) showed high levels of mental health conditions and exhaustion; resignations from General Practice are also rising, and practices are shutting down at record rates; and
(v) it is becoming increasingly difficult to get GPs to practice in deprived areas; as a result, those communities who most need good primary care are least able to access it; and
- calls upon the Government and the Chief Executive of the NHS to take urgent measures to address this crisis, including:-
- delivering on previously unmet promises to increase the number of GPs by at least 5,000;
- ensuring that incentives are in place to meet the primary care needs of communities with the greatest need;
- reducing red tape and bureaucracy by exploring with the profession which regulatory and administrative tasks need to be kept and which don’t;
- rebalancing the health system by encouraging better outreach work from secondary care; and
- increasing investment in community-based health-promoting activities to address the underlying causes of poor health.