The National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) has welcomed steps taken by the British Medical Association (BMA) and the General Practitioners' Defence Fund to engage the attention of the public through the national press in supporting the future of NHS general practice.
As part of its "Support Your Surgery" campaign, launched last month, the BMA is sending publicity material, such as posters, patient information leaflets and stickers, to every GP practice in England.
Mike Ramsden, Chief Executive of NAPC, commented: "It is important that members of the public across the entire country are given a voice in this critical issue affecting the future of primary care.
"However," Mr Ramsden added, "there are parts of the country, particularly in some parts of inner cities, where this is not the case and patients, often the most vulnerable, are not receiving optimum care.
"This must change. Members of the public should take this opportunity to make their voices heard so that they receive the services they want, delivered by the clinicians they trust and respect."
Roy Lilley, NAPC's External Relations Officer, added: "Not only is the question of who delivers primary healthcare at stake – GPs or private companies – but other important issues such as continuity of care for those with chronic conditions, ease of access to premises, charging, etc.
"It is important that members of the public speak up on this issue, which will influence the way in which primary healthcare is delivered for generations to come."
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