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.