Members of Tower Hamlets Keep Our NHS Public are calling on fellow patients to join them on 19 November 2021, in an event designed to thank the teams running NHS GP surgeries in Tower Hamlets.
On the day, four groups – two on foot and two on bicycles – will be working their way around the borough to cover all 31 GP surgeries. In short, 10-minute, handovers, they will give each practice ‘thank you’ posters in English and Bengali, featuring thank-you selfies from patients around the borough.
Tower Hamlets Keep Our NHS Public says that anyone wishing to join the event outside their own practice should email firstname.lastname@example.org for the timing. Several ward councillors will be attending, while MPs Rushanara Ali and Apsana Begum have both sent their support.
Poplar resident Carol Saunders, said: “As Tower Hamlets patients, we are horrified by the untrue and unfair stories that have been running recently in the national press about GPs. We think there’s an attempt to try to blame GPs and their staff for Government failings.
“There’s a major shortage of GPs, nurses, and other staff that has got much worse in the past 10 years. There’s a lack of decent funding or support for general practice, and now distribution problems are hitting their supplies.
“The pandemic has been tough on everyone in our community – including our GPs and their staff. Our doctors and their teams are working longer days and doing more consultations than ever, but they’re struggling to meet demand. They’re doing more phone and video consultations because they were told to do this for Covid-safety reasons. But they have seen many patients face to face since the start of the pandemic.
“The final straw was when we heard that receptionists and other staff are getting abuse from frustrated patients, while in some parts of the country, there have been physical attacks.”
Tower Hamlets Keep Our NHS, which campaigns to protect the NHS from cuts and privatisation, wants the event to bring the Tower Hamlets community together to recognise surgeries are doing their best in difficult circumstances. “We want them to know they have our support. We back their demands to Government to get the funding, supplies, staff, and support they need.”