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Press Release: Kent LMC response to NHS England’s letter to practices (Publication B0497)

Date published: 14/05/2021

Kent LMC is surprised and extremely disappointed at the content and tone of this publication dated 13th May 2021. General practice has never closed throughout the pandemic and has continued to see patients face to face when clinically necessary.

GPs in Kent and Medway provided more appointments in March 2021 than the same period in 2019, and have delivered almost one million COVID vaccinations.

Safety of patients has always been paramount for GPs and all the practice staff. Practices have adapted to find different ways of providing high quality care and have continued to see patients face to face whenever this is clinically necessary and can be done safely.

At the height of the pandemic the government advised that practices should provide as much care as possible using remote methods such as telephone triage and video consultations. These measures have been appreciated by patients and have been safe, effective and efficient. Many patients do not want to travel and attend a practice in person due to the increased risks of COVID.

We call upon NHS England and Improvement and Kent and Medway CCG to be honest with the public about the current pressures across the health and social care system and to support, and not scapegoat, their colleagues in primary care.

Kent LMC will continue to strongly support GP practices in these challenging times.

Gaurav Signature

Dr Gaurav Gupta
Chair, Kent LMC