WestEndExtra

The independent London newspaper

Early health interventions are not taking place because of underfunding

28 June, 2018

• I HOPE that the additional £20billion for the NHS promised by the prime minister goes a substantial way to meeting the increasing demand for GP services we are already seeing in surgeries across London, although precedent from previous announcements does give cause for concern.

General practice, social care and community services, all of which are not part of hospitals, have seen additional investment consumed by bureaucracy, planning and targets, with the money rarely reaching where it needs to go.

What we all want is just to be able to get on and do the job we have been trained to do properly. My colleagues need to know that when they can go into their surgeries each day and see a patient in need, that need is actually going to be met. This can be by care provided in the GP surgery or by connecting that patient with properly resourced community or social services.

Prevention always has to be better than cure, there needs to be investment in self-care and healthy living to stop people from getting ill in the first place.

The reason hospitals are so overwhelmed is because community services are so underfunded that early interventions are not taking place on the scale we need. This failure to address lifestyle factors results in people becoming so ill they need hospital care, with all the resource intensity which comes with providing it.

DR MICHELLE DRAGE
MB BS FRCGP
Chief Executive
Londonwide LMCs and Londonwide Enterprise Ltd

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