No wonder you can’t see your GP, they are on a 3-day week. Let’s train up nurses to do a little of their job
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I see that GPs are working on average three days a week. Couple this with the average practice now having 5% more patients than six years ago and the reality is that you have more chance of catching an interesting item on Sky News than your doctor agreeing to see you in person.
This is clearly wrong and will over time undermine the basis of state-funded health allowing the wealthy to see a private doctor while the less well off will suffer all kinds of ailments that a phone or zoom call will not capture. Men in the wealthiest areas now live a decade longer than those in the poorest. That lifespan has more than doubled in the last 20 years and if we our GPs don’t actually want to see the sick it must get worse.
How is it that we train up GPs at enormous expense - the NHS and social care costs will amount to an incredible 44% of all state spending by 2025 - and yet once they receive the stethoscope choose to go part-time on their £100,000 salary as they will be still pick up a handy £60K.
Shouldn’t we, the people paying for their training, seek a contractual undertaking that the GPs will continue to work full-time (unless they are sick or something).
Before covid around 80% of consultations took place in a surgery but in August this figure was 57.7%. The suggestion is that the early spotting of serious illnesses like cancer are being missed. In one shocking case a man was told he had one year to live in a phone call from a GP. In another a patient was told remotely she had lung cancer while one woman was misdiagnosed with Parkinson’s over the phone.
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It is now being suggested that pharmacies could take over some of the GPs responsibilities. This is a good idea.
Hospitals and chemists could prescribe antibiotics and other routine drugs while GPs would no longer have to write sick notes determining whether patients are fit to drive.
The doctors say their refusal to see patients is because they are overloaded with work and seriously understaffed. It is true that there are almost 2,000 fewer fully-qualified full-time GPs than there were in 2015.
Why is it that we cannot train up more of our people to be GPs? After all if we are to judge by the number of first-class honour degrees and double-star GCSEs our nation is full of bright young things.
Could it be that we can lower the educational demands for being a doctor. I’m not suggesting that oncologists can get there through apprenticeships but surely you don’t need the same brainpower to be a GP in Bournemouth as an ear, nose and throat surgeon.
We need more GPs and we need them now. The education bar is set too high. Much of the work could be done by super nurses. Let’s change the system.
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PS: So just to mention again but if you plan to buy either car or home insurance I wonder if you might look at my small price comparison site A Spokesman Said as we earn a little commission from each sale which helps fund the research and editorial costs of running the site. It has the same offer as the big ones like Go Compare. Thank you.