On Thursday 5 February, MPs took part in a debate on a motion relating to building sustainable GP services. The debate was scheduled by the Backbench Business Committee following a bid from Derek Twigg and Caroline Lucas.
Watch the debate and read the transcript
The debate was opened by Derek Twigg, MP for Halton. Shadow Health Minister, Jamie Reed, responded to the debate on behalf of the Opposition. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, Dr Daniel Poulter, responded on behalf of the Government.
Text of GP services motion
MPs debated the following motion (in the name of Derek Twigg and Caroline Lucas):
"That this House notes the vital role played by local GP services in communities throughout the UK, with an estimated one million patients receiving care from a family doctor or nurse every day; believes that the UK’s tradition of excellent general practice provision is a central factor in the NHS being consistently ranked as one of the world’s best health services by the independent Commonwealth Fund; expresses concern, therefore, that the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), through its Put patients first: Back general practice campaign, is warning that these services are under severe strain, with increasing concerns raised by constituents about access to their GP and 91 per cent of GPs saying general practice does not have sufficient resources to deliver high quality patient care; further notes that the share of NHS funding spent on general practice has fallen to an all-time low of 8.3 per cent, and that over 300,000 people across the UK have signed the campaign petition calling for this trend to be reversed; welcomes the emphasis placed in NHS England’s Five Year Forward View on strengthening general practice and giving GPs a central role in developing new models of care integrated around patients; and calls on the Secretary of State for Health to work with NHS England and the RCGP to secure the financial future of local GP services as a matter of urgency."
Backbench Business Committee
The Backbench Business Committee meets on Tuesdays at 1pm to consider requests for debates from any backbench Members of Parliament on any subject, including those raised in e-petitions or national campaigns.
An MP must make a representation before the Committee for an e-petition or petition to be debated; e-petitions exceeding the Government's 100,000 signature threshold are not automatically allocated backbench time.
The Committee then has to decide how to allocate the limited Parliamentary time it has at its disposal. The Committee's meetings are always conducted in public and can be watched on Parliament TV.