Daisy Cooper, Deputy leader of the Liberal Democrat Party, visited Portsmouth recently to back our campaign to demand better GP provision for the city.
GPs, Practice Managers, Pharmacists and colleagues from the University and QA hospital attended. It was very thought provoking, and we identified several areas of work where we think we can make progress.
The meeting was chaired by City Council Leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson and Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care, Cllr Matthew Winnington.
One of the long-term solutions would be to train mores GPs here in Portsmouth. The UK has not been training enough doctors for many years. The University here are looking to set up a Medical School to train doctors and we know that students who come to the university here like to stay. So, this might help, but only in the long term.
More immediate help from getting some people to see another health professional who is not a doctor. So, getting pharmacists attached to surgeries to give prescriptions out and patients seeing the nurse may reduce the pressure on GP's appointments.
Finally, we learnt that QA have a very successful unit that recruits medical staff from abroad, as there are just not enough trained here in the UK. If this works for the hospital, could it work to recruiting GPs?
The pressure on GPs is just huge now. We have trainee GPs who want to learn here in Portsmouth and some current GPs just don't have the time to supervise them because they are under so much pressure.
We will work on these ideas and several others and work to get more GPs in post in Portsmouth so everyone who needs to see a GP can.