Written evidence submitted by Dr Paul Alford (FGP0101)


General Practice in 2021.


I am a GP having worked in the speciality for 25 years.

You have asked for information regarding access and service delivery.

I declare an interest as a partner in a practice in South London.


So many of these questions are difficult to answer.

What is my value? How do I deliver care to my vulnerable patients? What happens if I am not there?


The answers can not be broken down in simplistic terms within this ‘questioning’.

So much of our work is done on goodwill. I know of colleagues who probably deliver double their contracted hours ensuring care is safe and effective.

Simplistically, we are the glue that holds the care of our patients together. Lambasted by many including specialist colleagues, local authorities, politicians while holding together people in very difficult situations e.g. end stage dementia with informal carers, end of life care – cradle to grave stuff.


The answers (which I know will be ignored).

Denote community specialist status to all qualified GPs.

Stop dumping inappropriate work on primary care. Specialists should ‘consume their own smoke’ not asking GPs to do their work for them e.g. ‘please chase this result or that test or refer here, there or everywhere’.

Support and value us by expressing publicly the importance and value of GPs and their colleagues.

Ensure limits on numbers of patient contacts per day of 25 for a full day work for every GP or colleague working on our behalf. Generate a consultant contract model to provide the clinical workforce. Allow practices to state ‘we are full and cannot deal with any more work on particular days’ (hospitals do this all the time). Space and time are required to make high quality, safe and cost-effective decisions.

Expand premises such that remote and face-to-face appointments can take place safely.

Stop telling GPs to jump through hoops that are dangerous and cause patient harm e.g. delivering face to face appointments in the context fo a pandemic.


Dec 2021