I fully support MP Paul Blomfield’s efforts to restore the Minimum Practice Income Guarantee (MPIG) funding to Devonshire Green surgery and I appeal to people to sign the petition to Ministers and NHS England which can be found at http://www.devonshiregreenandhanover.co.uk/. The campaign is close to my heart as Devonshire Green and the Hanover branch surgery in Broomhall serve many of my constituents in Central ward, including people suffering from poverty, recent migrants, the homeless and people with addiction and mental health problems. Providing good medical care for them is a matter of social justice, but also relieves pressure elsewhere in the NHS. If these people aren’t cared for in the community, they will go to A&E or need hospital admission.
But the need for MPIG exposes a deeper problem. It was established after the new GP contract in 2004, which shifted the way General Practices were funded towards list size (more patients, more money) and targets for various preventive health measures, like immunization, cervical smears, treating high blood pressure and so on. Clearly these are harder to achieve in deprived areas due to patients’ immediate needs and the difficulties they face in everyday life. We need to ask if performance related pay and targets are helpful in health care and public services more generally. And we need to look at how resources are allocated to the populations which need them most and to services which are the most person-centered and efficient.
Cllr Jillian Creasy, Green Party