Agree with Dr Shenton's and Dr Laughton's comments. I can not see the patient's attitudes to accessing the A&Echange even if GPs were to provide the OOH now. The public have no reason to take responsibility when the service is free at the point of contact. Is there such a service any where in the world? 2013 is very different from 2003 in terms of the publics attitude to their perceived health problems. We are less tolerant and no longer do we have the stiff upper lips. We are a quivering wreck. Dr Poulter is speaking as a politician and probably has new clue about the demands on Primay care.
I agree with the last comment. The ones involved in commissioning are deluding themselves. There are mere pawns in this charade. They will tinker at the edges while the NHS gets dismantled bits by bits.
Not surprising. No amount of primary care access will stem this tide. A tide of high expectation from the user in a system which is bursting at the seam.The user of the service has no legal or financial consequence for inappropriate use. Most of what we see in daily practice are on the whole with self limiting minor illness or the worried well. You can not contain this. The worm is out of the bag, the rot set in with the new contract! Time to get the user of the service to take some responsibility.
I am not sure of the source of the evidence. I will be 65 soon, and looking forward to retirement. I have not come across a single GP Partner who works less than 12 to 14 Hours a day. In 3 days I do more than 40 Hrs without doing any extended hours. Stress is at the highest level in almost 30 years of working in the NHS. The GPs are not a happy lot.
I am not sure where the problem lies. A recent problems with the local trust was that some clinics were only bookable when the trust felt that it had the capacity. I have been given the impression that the waiting times for a number of clinics are much longer. Urgent appointments tend not to be available on C&B.