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Seven-day GP access pilot cuts A&E attendances 'by 10%'


Education, education, education! If we took time to educate the NHS 'population at risk' - pretty much everyone in the UK - about how to best access services then we would avoid some of the burden on front-line healthcare services. As a GP AiT who regularly works in EDs it is obvious that patients don't know where to go to get healthcare advice. Last week I saw a mosquito bite and 2 wasp stings. Not 'oh-my-god-my-airway-is-closing-give-me-the-epipen' wasp stings, just simple 'ow, this hurts' wasp stings. I was kind, I was polite, I recognised that in each case the patient simply didn't know any better than to sit and wait in the ED for over 3 hours for a junior doctor to give them as much reassurance as a 5 min consult can give about an ailment that should have been self-managed. Such cases probably represent 20% of what I see. It is obvious to me (and believe me, I am no great intellect) that patients are unwilling / unable to self-manage relatively minor illnesses and injuries, and that they seek to transfer risk onto the NHS as rapidly as possible. Education about illness, injury, as well as when and how to access appropriate healthcare services should start at an early age - IMHO it should be part of the National Curriculum (alongside how to fill out tax returns, manage your finances, and cook healthy food for less than the price of McDonald's). I am post-nights so probably not articulating this concept as well as it should be.... humblest apologies!

Posted date

22 Jul 2016

Posted time