If doctors want to limit home visits, they need to persuade people like 73-year-old Janet Berry.
As a young mother, her life was saved by the long-serving GP attending her house as she struggled in indescribable pain, unknowingly suffering an ectopic pregnancy.
Earlier this month, doctors voted to remove the ‘anachronism’ of those very home visits from their core contract work.
They claimed that they no longer had the capacity to offer them, an alarming indication of the pressure and strain on resource that many are facing.
Mrs Berry, a retired university secretary who lives in Hambleton, North Yorkshire, believes such visits are vital, telling this newspaper that she could have died without a GP coming to her assistance.
Though the doctors’ vote was immediately dismissed as a “complete non-starter” by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who expressed strong opposition to the proposal, the new Government would do well to heed concern from all sides as it looks now to enshrine into law much-needed additional funding for our precious health service.
In Thursday’s Queen’s Speech, Boris Johnson made a commitment to give the NHS an extra £34bn a year, whilst seeking cross-party consensus for long-term reform of the social care system.
Though he and his team cannot also enshrine levels of service, care and compassion, they do need to make sure that there is a more joined up and cohesive NHS moving forward. That means social care providers, GP surgeries and hospitals all working together to provide the best possible support for patients.