Councillor Jack Scott was granted permission to bring an urgent motion before full council on the ‘intense pressure’ that GP surgeries are facing in Sheffield. This follows concerns that the situation in primary care was reaching ‘crisis point’ in the city.
In his speech to the meeting, that was held at Ponds Forge due to covid restrictions, Councillor Scott warned that plans to close Norfolk Park surgery today “could so easily spread to other parts of the city tomorrow”.
In a speech supporting Councillor Scott’s motion, Councillor Ben Miskell highlighted the plight of residents in Norfolk Park, who supported by their local councillors are battling against plans to close their local GP surgery. Councillor Miskell said:
“Lord Mayor, in Norfolk Park residents are bearing the brunt of a crisis in primary care that we are experiencing in Sheffield and right around the country.
As my colleagues Councillors Jack Scott and Sophie Wilson have said, plans to close Norfolk Park Surgery have drawn protest from throughout the community and we hope that the CCG will commit to extending the consultation period, given some of the covid restrictions that have prevented meaningful discussions from taking place.
But Lord Mayor, whilst the issue of a shortage of GPs is an issue that needs addressing, it is not the root cause of the problems that we face in primary care.
The elephant in the room is the compromise that was struck back in the summer of 1948 at the very foundations of the NHS, by Nye Bevan and doctors. A compromise which continues to leave GPs largely as independent contractors.
That compromise continues to result in a fragmented system of primary care and limits true integration in the interests of patients.
It hurts those in areas like Norfolk Park and Arbourthorne that face significant health inequalities and where we are told by GPs themselves that joining practices in so called deprived communities, as a partner, isn’t an attractive ‘business prospect’.
Lord Mayor, we urgently need to address the problems outlined in this motion today. We need to rally behind calls to keep surgeries like Norfolk Park surgery open, find a solution to the GP crisis we see right across this city and Lord Mayor, nationally we need this Tory government to invest and prioritise in primary care”.