DR Richard Vautrey the shop steward of GPs, spoke out recently about patients returning for face-to-face appointments.
I think Richard is miffed by the NHS England exhortation that the time has come to open up surgeries for real time consultations between doctor and patient.
I am pleased to see the references to patients and the acknowledgement that we have an expectation to return to messages from our GPs about what we can do and not what we can’t do.
I also accept entirely that doctors feel as frustrated about the lack of proper contact time as patients do.
But it is time to move on and return to the trusting one-to-one clinical relationship between doctor and patient.
I want to add my personal admiration of the GP practices in Cross Gates, which I have witnessed first hand through the Local Care Partnership. The dedication and professionalism of those teams have resulted in amazing outcomes for months now.
They jumped onto the vaccination programme immediately and seemed ahead at every step and their weekend drive-in clinics worked incredibly well. A big thank you.
The next step in the technological age of 2021 is for patients to be able to make appointments in a sensible way and not be forced to compete with hundreds of other people between 8-8.30am for a potential telephone call some time that day.
Such archaic procedures really have no place in a civilised society and they serve no one. Hitting the redial button dozens of times until we’ve got through is so stressful all round.
Prompt and personal access to one’s doctor remains the Holy Grail and we must strive for it.
From: Andrew Mercer, Guiseley.
TRIED to get hold of the GP surgery – waited 45 minutes only to be told by the receptionist to call 111 without any question about the nature of the query.
Totally understand that GPs are stretched – and many are at the forefront of the vaccine programme.
It does not excuse, however, the contempt that their practice staff show for patients.
The NHS is still a public service, isn’t it?