In this opinion piece for The BMJ, Partha Kar, consultant endocrinologist and NHS England National Specialty Advisor for Diabetes, looks at the crisis facing primary care in the UK. He highlights that many primary care professionals are feeling burnt out due to the intense pressure and negative attention GPs are currently experiencing. The cost of relying on primary care for the vaccination programme is that treatment for mental health and long term conditions has been neglected. GPs are at the receiving end of patients' frustrations about delays to their care.
Partha highlights the need to:
- prepare well in advance for potential future waves of Covid-19, including by developing a vaccine delivery workforce that is not reliant on primary care.
- ensure vaccines are distributed to less developed countries, and move away from seeing vaccination as an issue of nationalism.
- increase funding for primary care in a focused and sustained way.