Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Seven Day GP Access

From the BBC

Everyone in England will have access to GP services seven days a week by 2020, Prime Minister David Cameron has promised.

The government has also promised to bring back "named GPs" - to take charge of care outside hospital.

And Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt told the Conservative Party conference people would be able to access their medical records online by next April.

Labour accused the prime minister of "broken promises" on the NHS.

Mr Cameron said: "People need to be able to see their GP at a time that suits them and their family. That's why we will ensure everyone can see a GP seven days a week by 2020.

"We will also support thousands more GP practices to stay open longer - giving millions of patients better access to their doctor."

You have a certain amount of GP capacity (let's say 40 hours/week). If a GP is working Saturday and Sunday, he isn't going to be working Monday and Tuesday. Making it 7 days a week doesn't increase the amount of capacity. It actually makes GPs less suitable for families as people will be pushed out of Monday to Friday appointments in favour of say, mid-Sunday afternoon, which means that you won't be going to see the football/zoo/whatever that day. Plus, you've now got to hire more receptionists as the surgery is open longer. And pay them at time and a half for weekend work.

As for medical records online, what's the point of that? How often do you need your medical records? Answer: rarely enough that a GP can print them off for you. Sounds like a massive bung being chucked at the large Fred Karno's Army software consultancies, probably the one that couldn't capacity plan the DVLA website for yesterday


Lola said...

Well, quite. I just don't know why they come out with this guff. No-one I know believes any of it, and they usually work out for themselves the issues you've laid out. Of course the BBC swallows hook, line and sinker, but....

A K Haart said...

Maybe such idea are only intended for BBC reports. Cameron knew the BBC would headline it in a comparatively uncritical manner and by his calculation this may outweigh its stupidities.