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THE NHS IS SICK…

By David Vance On May 22nd, 2013

Here is a story within a story…

Sick patients should email their GP instead of going to see them, a leading health official said yesterday. NHS Confederation boss Mike Farrar stunned MPs by saying that contacting GPs online instead of in person would reduce the pressures on hospital casualty units. His astonishing suggestion came after MPs demanded to know how NHS bosses planned to solve the ‘state of crisis’ in A&E departments, which are struggling to cope with a huge surge in patient numbers.

I don’t know about you, but if I have broken a bone or am running a fever, or a member of my family is feeling very unwell, I don’t think a swift email to my GP is going to do the trick, especially with GP’s themselves having contracted out their out of hours cover to third parties. So the suggestion is at one level a nonsense!

However, there IS  a point of substance that many people attend A&E with conditions that could be treated at their GP surgery IF they could reasonably expect to see a GP and nurse there and then. That really would relieve some of the genuine pressures our A&E’s face! But the system is disconnected and they are ALL simultaneously seeking to reduce their work load meaning that the PATIENT is the person who suffers.

3 Responses to “THE NHS IS SICK…”

  1. There is no way of contacting our surgery by e-mail. I can order a repeat prescription on line using a form on their web site, but it goes via some third party who provides the site. There is no way to contact them by e-mail or make an appointment on-line, which would be useful for routine appointments.
    A friend at another local surgery can make appointments, but not order prescriptions on-line!
    As all my friends say, the first thing that you do if you have a problem is to search the internet for advice, its far quicker than the new 111 service, and probably what they do anyway!

  2. Most doctors don’t use email with patients. They should.

  3. English Pensioner

    It is amazing that doctors ( and dentists ) for whatever reason generally don’t use email for routine purposes.

    If I need to make an appointment with my dentist, and he’s not in, I leave a message at an answering machine and his assistant calls me back. That’s stupid, for both parties.

    Many doctors similarly don’t use PDFs in their exchanges with insurance companies — they use faxes, a technology that most business moved on from ages ago.

    US Medicine is a mix of high tech and primitive tech as respects office work. I don’t get it.