GPs are the ‘most important member of the local community’, says Nigel Farage as he calls for some to be scrapped

Professor Martin Marshall, president of the royal college of GPs, has suggested he wants to cut some smaller GPs and replace them with larger practices.

Nigel Farage has defended GP surgeries, saying they are the “most important and trusted member of the local community”.

His comments come after Professor Martin Marshall, president of the Royal College of GPs, suggested he wanted to cut some smaller GPs and replace them with larger practices.

But speaking on GB News, Farage said he believed these GPs were an integral part of local communities.

He said: “For three quarters of a century people have been used to the idea that you can go to a GP face to face and get a consultation.

“But it becomes much more difficult.

Nigel Farage

“Well, add to all that what Professor Martin Marshall, President of the Royal College of GPs, said overnight.

He continued: “He said he wanted to end what he describes as corner shop GP practices, meaning small local GP practices.

“And he wants in the future to have surgeries that will be large-scale operations or parts of hospital chains.

General practitioners are the "most important member of the local community"says Farage

GPs are the ‘most important member of the local community’, says Farage

“He wants to corporatize what a GP is and I think that’s completely wrong, because I think the GP is pretty much the most important and trusted member of the local community.

“It’s a classic example of those perhaps in London or running large organizations who just don’t understand what people’s needs are.”

It comes after a campaign group said four in five GPs had been stressed, anxious or depressed in the past year.

Campaign group Rebuild General Practice warned there was a ‘manpower emergency’ with significant numbers of family doctors feeling the pressure.

Doctors told to stop using phrases like ‘take a test’ because they ‘belittle patients’

Common phrases, often heard during doctor’s appointments, such as “taking” a test or “sending” someone home, could make patients feel “childish”.

A survey of 1,400 UK GPs found around half (51%) had seen staff leave their practices in the past five years due to ‘unmanageable workloads’.

Almost half (48%) said their colleagues left the profession due to mental health issues or burnout. Some 84% said they had experienced anxiety, stress or depression in the past year.

The campaign group is calling on the government to do more to recruit and retain GPs.

Dr Rachel Ward, from the Rebuild General Practice campaign, said: ‘This is a crisis for GPs and an emergency for patients.

“Years of underfunding and neglect have left GP badly damaged, leaving us with skeleton staff across Britain and no plan to fill the gaps, while patient appointments are at an all time high .

“As GPs, we are trying to find solutions and crying out for help – for our patients but also as human beings who are just trying to provide great care and take care of our communities. “