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CAMHS won't see you now

Dr Mary Church: 'Ministers want us to out-of-hours back so they don't get the blame for it'

Dr Mary Church explains the strength of feeling over taking back out-of-hours care.

GPs are absolutely adamant about this. There was extremely strong feeling about not taking out-of-hours back at LMC conference and when I´ve been canvassing opinion locally I get letters back saying “NEVER” in red!

People have short-term memories. When we had responsibility for out-of-hours care it was getting impossible to recruit GPs because of the workload. And out-of-hours is not the same now as it was then. When we had the GP co-ops it was effectively an emergency service. Now patients expect the same level of service as they get during the day. The mindset has changed and we’d be taking responsibility for providing that.

I think the Government want us to take this back so they don’t get the blame for it. And they think it will cost them less as GPs are so cost-effective. They think effectively that we’ll pay for it. I´m sure economics play a part.

All this against a constant background of negative press which is affecting GPs’ plummeting morale. Taking out-of-hours back would adversely affect recruitment. The workload for GPs now in the daytime is so great we just can´t do what we do in the daytime and at night as well.”

We don’t want to go back on this. My father was a GP and I remember him going out in the night in the 50s and 60s and thinking I don’t want to do that.

England needs a system a bit more like the Scottish one which is working well now. But Scotland has had a lot of extra funding.

Dr Mary Church is a GP in Glasgow

Readers' comments (14)

  • The trouble with this problem is that the government and patients do not understand that GP today has three areas. 1.Proactive work. (Review of hypertension medication, diabetes etc etc)which has massively increased since Dr Finlay. 2.Non urgent reactive work i.e " I have got this rash for the last four weeks." My child keeps getting a runny nose" Which again has increased. 3. Urgent reactive work. "My husband with cancer is not getting relief from the analgesia can you get him something stronger" or " My child has become very ill and is getting short of breath". Patients want all this work to be available 24/7 like Tesco. Without a massive increase in GPs and shift work this is just not possible. Why wont somebody say so!

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  • plenty of people have said so jeremy...please find another way of insulting the intelligence of the public than endless references to tesco...or the daily mail.both of which are used by all sections of society by the way

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  • The so called "OOH" is being used wrongly.There is nothing ike OOH.It is 24/7 in hours.Becaus the cases we see in OOH are not emergencies.Somebody callig past midnight to get his blood test result.An elderly calling for a home visit because she was alone and lonely.

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  • 'an elderly' what? phone using cat or a real person with who knows what history.you had no obligation to call anyway under these circumstances.would a quick chat have taxed you that much?

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