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London GPs ‘turning away refugees’

14 February 2014

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Refugees are being turned away from general practice in London because of the “staggering work” involved in registering them as patients. 

A City Hall inquiry has found that GPs are under such pressure that patients who are unable to speak English or those without identity documentation can be seen as a problem. 

According to The Evening Standard, Dr Clare Gerada has called for a “pan-London response” to address the needs of refugees. 

Dr Gerada, former chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners and current chairwoman of the London Primary Care Clinical Board, said: “General practice is not only failing to deliver care it its patients. It’s also failing itself. 

“We have a workforce that is depressed, burned out and demoralised, but at the same time trying to do its best.” 

Ali Aksoy, director of the Hackney Refugee Forum said: “In our area, the GPs job is much more difficult. Refugees and migrants are the most vulnerable and disadvantaged part of society.” 

The London Assembly’s health committee was told that GPs are facing increasingly complex demands from increasing numbers of patients. 

In some parts of the capital, GPs are carrying out 250,000 consultations each day.