Government thanks General Practice for its work during the pandemic

Thank you to all GPs and general practice staff: letter from Jo Churchill MP

From: Jo Churchill MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care
39 Victoria Street

Dear GPs and general practice staff

I write to express our sincere thanks for the work of general practice throughout the pandemic. The exceptional circumstances we are facing as a country underline the critical role you play in our lives.

We have been struck by the unprecedented pace at which general practice has adapted in response to COVID-19. Transforming the way primary care services operate. Introducing total triage, delivering remote consultations alongside face-to-face appointments in order to serve as many patients as possible, while protecting staff and the public from risk of infection.

You and your colleagues have worked hard to identify and offer proactive care to shielded and high-risk patients, to provide much-needed primary care services to care home residents, and more recently to support the delivery of an expanded flu programme. For many of you, workload is as high, if not higher, than at this point last year and now all being delivered in a COVID-tinged world. We remain hugely grateful for the efforts GPs and all practice staff continue to make to support all of us when we need you.

It goes without saying that we face a very tough winter. COVID-19 infections are rising again as we all move into a period of further nationwide restrictions this week. It will be even more important than ever that the NHS works together to ensure all patients can access the services they need as safely as possible – whether they have COVID-19 symptoms or other health needs. As GPs, you are uniquely placed to give patients confidence that they can receive safe, effective care remotely, and that they can get face-to-face appointments when needed. Demonstrating that, although the delivery mechanism may have changed, their care remains at the heart of everything you do. We rely on and trust general practice to prioritise clinical needs to help us achieve this. It won’t be easy, but we know that you and your colleagues will rise to the challenge.

Finally, we would also like to ensure you take care of yourselves and your families in what will undoubtedly be some difficult days ahead.

Kind regards,

Jo Churchill