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At the heart of general practice since 1960

My action plan over access

From Dr Anita Sharma, Oldham

So a random selection of

our patients is being asked

to complete a postal questionnaire about how easy it is for them to see their GP. Posters are up in the surgery because we have been asked to do so. GPC protests that this is unfair, biased and unjust have fallen on deaf ears.

Patients suffering from memory loss or 'never satisfied' syndrome will put a tick in the box indicating that they can't get to see their GP. Some of us will lose money and feel aggrieved. Yet the GPC has come up with no action plan.

I would suggest a five-point approach:

1) I must be told the names of all those patients who think they cannot get an appointment to see me.

2) I need to verify that they are telling the truth by checking the records. All telephone conversations are written down and documented.

3) I need to check whether these people are the chronic attenders or those who keep DNAing or moving from one doctor to another.

4) I will want to check why they wanted to see me anyway as the Government says to use NHS Direct, walk-in centres or pharmacists as an alternative.

5) I should be entitled to exclude sufferers of dementia from the list.

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