GPs have rejected the Tories “rescue package” as the British Medical Association warns more family doctors will quit.

The BMA polled almost 3,5000 family doctors and 93% said the blueprint which includes naming and shaming struggling practices was “unacceptable”.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid is demanding GPs increase face-to-face appointments but the head of the NHS today admitted there was no “set number” for how many they should provide.

Data shows that 58% of patients were seen face-to-face in August in England, compared with 54% in January and more than 80% before the pandemic.

Dr Richard Vautrey, BMA GP committee chair, said: “This shows the profession has out and out rejected this shambles of a plan from the Government and NHS England.

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Dr Richard Vautrey is chair of the BMA GP committee (

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“Patient care will suffer because imposing these measures could very well result in doctors having to spend even more time on paperwork and admin.

“But it may also result in GPs leaving the profession all together.

“With a majority of family doctors now saying they could be forced to reduce their hours or leave the NHS all together because of a lack of support, the situation could get far, far worse.”

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General practice has been underfunded for a decade under the Tories contributing to 1,800 fewer full-time equivalent GPs since 2015.

This is despite the Tories pledging to increase the workforce by 6,000.

The new plan includes a £250 million fund to provide physiotherapists and other health professionals to support struggling practices.

Those who do not carry out enough face-to-face appointments will not have access to the fund.

NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard told MPs: “I think we have really tried to steer away from saying that there is a kind of a right number for face-to-face versus other types of access, because what’s clear is many people absolutely do prefer face-to-face access.

“GPs are required to provide it, it’s part of the contract... so what we’ve talked about in the [plan] document is respecting patient preference.”

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