GPs are very much in the spotlight at present and sadly not in a good way. Instead of a proper plan with funding to train up new GPs and retain the ones we have, the Government and NHS England are attempting to replace GPs as much as possible with lesser skilled ‘health care professionals’ such as ‘Physician Associates’, with only two years of medical training. 

As you will read later health chiefs in NW London have come up with a dreadful new scheme called ‘Same Day Access Hubs’, mostly staffed by non-doctors, which are supposed to replace same day appointments with our GP’s for most urgent care.

On 9th March, Ealing Save Our NHS will be joining campaigners across the country calling for our NHS to be restored and of course that includes proper funding for our GP services.


Doctors, patient groups and campaigners are all up in arms over NW London health bosses’ plans to remove same day emergency care from our GP practices.  Instead of seeing your GP, patients will be diverted to a ‘Same Day Access Hub’ mostly staffed by non – doctors. These plans are being introduced without consultation with local GPs, let alone the public.

So how will it work?

If you are feeling very unwell and ring your GP practice for a same day appointment an automated telephone system invites you to press option 1 and you will be transferred to the ‘Same Day Hub’. At the other end of the phone will be a ‘Care Co-ordinator’ (non – clinical),who is part of a team which includes ‘clinicians’ such as  Physician Associates (just two years training) and Advanced Nursing Practitioners, and probably only one supervising doctor (also called a ‘clinician’)

The Care Co-ordinator will decide who you should speak to, supposedly with supervision from the GP, but also relying on computerised programmes, a bit like NHS 111 or a Call Centre.

If you are invited in for an appointment you may have to travel to an unfamiliar location to be seen by staff you don’t know and who don’t know your history.

You are only likely to have the option to speak to your GP if you have a “complex long-term condition”. 

Only an estimated 7% of appointments will be with the supervising GP, all of the rest will be with other health care professionals / clinicians. Clearly safe supervision in such a situation will be very difficult for the doctor!

The new Hubs were due to be implemented on 1st April but the widespread opposition has forced the ICB to say it will only roll it out from that date – we want it dropped completely.

Management Consultants apparently know better than Doctors!

The NW London ICB would rather talk to management consultants than doctors it seems. Management consultants KPMG and Price Waterhouse Cooper were paid by the ICB to develop a primary care strategy and a ‘more sustainable model of care’ and now KPMG are to be paid to train GPs in setting up hubs – nice work if you can get it.  Shame they didn’t work out a plan with GPs instead!

GPs are united in opposing these plans:  

The BMA and the National Local Medical Committees, which represents GPs across England, have passed motions opposing the move to Hubs. NW London GP members of the Londonwide LMC have raised serious concerns with NW London ICB (the health bosses) and urged them to delay implementation until proper evaluation has taken place on the limited ‘pilots’. They have also urged the ICB not to impose the plans on GPs.

The LMC believe that patient safety could be at risk if triage is carried out by people without the degree of medical competence needed, as provided by a GP; and where possible with the prior knowledge built up as part of the GP patient relationship. Without these serious, possibly life threatening illness could be missed. 

A patient may present with a request for sleeping pills, trouble with piles, or problems with hormone replacement therapy, and we may then have a complex consultation about traumatic bereavement, bowel cancer, or depression. (Dr Helen Salisbury, British Medical Journal, 13 February 2024)  

You can read Helen Salisbury’s article here

You can read more about the LMC concerns about the new HUBs here

We have the lowest number of GPs per head in London and leaving GPs with only the most complex and time consuming patients is not going to help job satisfaction and retention of GPs, let alone the damage it will do to the GP Patient relationship.

Some great campaigning has been taking place especially by our sister campaign in Hammersmith & Fulham Save Our NHS, who have hit the national press and many local media. 

You can read the stories in the Telegraph and the BBC


  • We need to spread the word so please sign and share the Petition with you friends, family and on social media.
  • You might like to sign the Petition as well.
  • If you can please contact your MP and local councillors – they need to know there is widespread opposition and we want them to actively oppose the plans. 
  • If you are a member of your GP Public Participation Group please ask for it to be discussed and if you can please talk to your GP.

Over the coming months we will do our best to campaign against these plans along with other campaigners across North West London so watch this space..


‘Keep Our NHS Public’ (KONP) has called a Day of Action on the 9th as part of the campaign to restore the ‘Peoples NHS’  

As the local branch of KONP we will support the action with a roving stall and our very popular postcards for MPs plus lots of placards and plenty of chanting in Ealing Broadway.  

We will be joining campaigners across the country in saying that an NHS free for all, which is publicly owned, provided, and accountable is actually the model that works. It’s not the model that is broken, it’s Governments that have failed the NHS through underfunding and privatisation.


PLEASE COME AND JOIN US OUTSIDE EALING TOWN HALL – Starting off at 11.30am outside Ealing Town Hall and the moving on to different locations around the shopping area.


In January we met with London North West NHS Trust Chief Executive, Pippa Nightingale and Mark Titcomb, the Managing Director, for Ealing & Central Middlesex Hospitals for an update on services at Ealing Hospital.

Here are some highlights from the meeting:- 

  • Work is well underway on the new Ealing Community Diagnostic Centre, which is due to open in June. Whilst only a few Ultrasound Suites are in operation,  once fully open there will be a a wide range of diagnostics including CT, MRI and Ultrasound scans. GPs will be able to make a direct referrals, speeding up detection of serious illnesses such as cancer and improving earlier diagnosis for our more deprived residents.
  • Winter has of course added to the pressure on staff, but the two extra wards that have been opened have helped. Sadly long waits on trolleys are pretty much a permanent fixture in A&E, as they are in most hospitals. 
  • The recently opened Mental Health Crisis Assessment Centre by West London NHS Trust on the St Bernard’s Site, has helped to reduce the still unacceptably long waits for those patients needing a Mental Health assessment. Frighteningly,  Mental Health beds numbers are still being cut in North West London.
  • In the pipeline there are also plans to extend the our very busy overcrowded A&E space A good job we helped to save it!


The 24-hour alarm service provided in-house to elderly and vulnerable residents across the Borough looks set to be closed by Ealing Council with 15 people losing their jobs We were recently alerted to this service cut by Unison, the staff’s union, who say ‘the decision to cease offering an in-house careline service is a disaster waiting to happen.”

Careline is an emergency alarm system for older people and younger people with a chronic sickness or disability and their carers living in the Borough that helps people to live as independently as possible. 

Whilst there will be ‘some’ outsourcing to other agencies it is very unlikely they will be able to handle the 124,000 alarm calls and incidents over the past year.

Its all being rushed through with virtually no consultation with service users and is likely to impact on the NHS.

A good story in Ealing News with a quote from us here


Every week there are more stories on the shocking state of Dentistry, but none so vivid as the pictures of people in Bristol queuing all night to register for a new dental practice!   The Government has recently announced a ‘Recovery Plan’ – so does it live up to its name?

The British Dental Association says the Government’s so-called Recovery Plan is incapable of even beginning to honour Rishi Sunak’s promise to restore NHS dentistry or in any way to meet the Government’s stated ambition to provide access to NHS dentistry for ‘all who need it’

The Plan sets up a ‘new patient premium’, which will give a bonus to dentists who see a patient that hasn’t undergone treatment in two years – £15 to first see them, £50 if they need significant work done. It also raises the minimum Unit of Dental Activity (UDA) value from the current level of £25.33 to £28. The BDA says this is simply nowhere near enough.

The £200 million pledged is not really ‘new’ money and is less than half the underspend expected in this years budget. It will do little to stem the flood of dentists stopping NHS work.  

The BDA have launched a Petition to save NHS dentistry with 38 Degrees and the Mirror.

You can sign it here


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