48-hr access policy 'could spread flu'
The GPC is warning the
Government's 48-hour access policy could cause flu to spread like wildfire this winter.
Dr Peter Fellows, GPC prescribing chair and a GP in Gloucestershire, said his sur-gery had seen a glut of patients with flu-like symptoms in recent weeks and the crowded waiting room could have caused other patients to become infected.
Ministers announced in the NHS Plan in 2000 that by 2004 no patient should have to wait more than 48 hours to see their GP, but Dr Fellows said the decision was made on political, not medical, grounds. 'The system of immediate access in this situation is dangerous because patients are coming in and spreading viruses around. If they stayed at home it would be better for them and for the other patients.'
At one point a third of the local secondary school were absent with the illness, which has not yet been identified through laboratory tests.