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Independents' Day

'Would be laughable, if it was not so serious'

The GPC’s Dr Andrew Green on the suggestion practices should ring up vulnerable patients at weekends to check they are OK

I was staggered that NHS England’s West Yorkshire area team (WY) would send this email to GPs at all, let alone at 4 o’clock on a friday afternoon, a time when most GPs will be fully booked with patients until the end of their contracted hours.
It is surely predictable that there will be times when ambulance services have increased demand, yet the head of emergency preparedness, resilience and response seems to think that the appropriate action for this is to try, with no notice, to ask a different part of the NHS to take on yet more unresourced work.
The suggestion that we might personally phone our sickest patients then or over the weekend to check they are alright and won’t bother the ambulance service would be laughable were it not illustrating a total misinderstanding within NHS England of the role, responsibillities, and workload of general practice.
A patient arriving on saturday morning to find their GP busy with booked appointments, or later to find them shut, might well conclude from the tweet that their GP should be providing such a service, and I object most strongly to NHS England stoking patient expectations without there being any realistic possibility of them being met.
Most importantly, this is a frank admission from NHS England that NHS 111 cannot be relied on to do its most basic task, which is to direct patients to the most appropriate part of the NHS to meet their needs, and that the result of patients contacting NHS 111 is unnecessary ambulance calls. To this extent at least NHS England and GPs can agree.

Dr Andrew Green is chair of the GPC prescribing subcommittee and a GP in Hedon, East Yorkshire  

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Readers' comments (6)

  • I stopped reading Pulse as such garbage from NHS England/Politicians/certain former leaders of our so called profession, etc., goes into the ether and dies if no one hears it.

    I continue now oblivious to their nonsense and get on with the real task of seeing my patients without a care what the politicians are smoking and trying to sell the public.

    I logged on here out of mild nostalgia having been away for a few months, logging back off now, and to happiness I will revert!

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  • Poor GPs bulied once more by NHs ,apart from being bullied against thei interests of their patients to prescribe non Evidence Medicine by NHS.

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  • What the F*&$ is Anonymouse Private GP at 12:14 talking about?
    Signed: Anonymous Practice Manager

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  • These could be the best comments ever on a thread on Pulse!

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  • He has an axe to grind about diabetes treatment. It is getting very boring.

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  • does a solicitor ring all his clientents at weekends and evenings free of charge

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