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Daily Mail invites readers to submit their 'GP crisis' stories

The Daily Mail has invited all readers who have waited for longer than three or four weeks for an appointment to report their GP practice.

A story in this morning’s Mail Online invites readers to get in touch with Mail journalists via a dedicated ‘GP crisis’ email address.

The story, headlined The surgery where patients wait FOUR WEEKS to see a GP, focuses on the Crown Street Surgery in Swinton, which is said to have the longest waiting list in Britain and where each doctor ‘can see 100 patients a day’.

Describing the practice, where GPC education, training and workforce committee chair Dr Krishna Kasaraneni is a partner, the Mail wrote: ‘Chronic health conditions, an ageing population and problems recruiting doctors are pushing services to breaking point at the Crown Street Surgery in Swinton, near Rotherham. Its waiting list for non-urgent appointments is thought to be the longest in the country.’

It later added: ‘Have you had to wait longer than three or four weeks to see a doctor? Email: GPcrisis@dailymail.co.uk

The story comes after the same GP practice was also featured in the Guardian last week. In an article titled Who dares confront Jeremy Hunt, NHS bully-in-chief? the paper’s columnist Polly Toynbee described spending a few days in the practice and witnessing Dr Kasaraneni work 12-hour days, eat lunch at his desk, see close to 100 patients in a day, all while earning just £60,000 per year and still making ‘each patient feel he has all the time in the world’.

It is unclear whether the creation of the ‘GP crisis’ email address marks the beginning of a campaign for the Daily Mail, which has reported extensively on general practice in recent months.

Dr Kasaraneni said he was not aware why the paper had launched the email address, but said: ‘If the Daily Mail are campaigning to highlight the pressures GPs are facing, then that is certainly welcome.’

It comes as just a few months ago, GP leaders hit back at claims put forward by an oncological surgeon in the Daily Mail that general practice was unfit for purpose. In the article published by the paper, Professor J. Meirion Thomas – who has previously singled out female doctors as the cause of the NHS’s workforce woes – said general practice was ‘hopelessly outmoded’ and called for GPs to be taken over by hospitals, with ‘specialist nurses’ handling the majority of care.

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Readers' comments (34)

  • Tiger by the tail Dr Kasaraneni- even if they lifted your Guardian story as is their wont.

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  • First the Good News,
    the Daily Mail will stop its hate campaign about GP's in Winter 2015.
    Now the bad news-it will be because there are no GP's left.

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  • To be fair four weeks does seem unacceptable to those who pay for and use the service, no matter how dedicated the clinician concerned - how does that sit with the urgent referral pathways?

    However many GPs I work with question whether a one or two day access system is acceptable or even useful either, as self-care is more appropriate for so many patients.

    Perhaps a proper debate and guidance on an appropriate appointment system would be useful, rather than having the Daily Mail and Pulse compete with their take in the headlines, with practices caught in the middle with no clear guidance or criteria on what is a reasonable number of appointments per head of population?

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  • why cant we report the daily hate mail for lies

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  • Dear Daily Mail readers - The DM cost 60p per day, even if you dont buy it on weekends thats 0.6 x 52 x 5= £156 a year - GP NHS care costs the tax payer £136 per person. Give up reading DM dross pay the same in taxes and the NHS would be better off and give you a better service.

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  • Anonymous | NHS Manager | 23 February 2015 12:10pm

    I agree - lets have an honest debate about what access NEEDS (ie, evidence based, not wants based) to look like, but lets also have a serious discussion about what that requires in resources to make it possible. HMG of various colours has always fudged the issue on this (even labour with their 48hr target of old) because no one is prepared to admit to the fact that if we want 7 day 8-8 access to a GP, we will need at least twice as many of them, and we will need to invest more than 8% of the NHS budget to achieve it.

    However, let me also add, that the 4 week wait is probably for routine pre-bookable appointments, and may not allow for the fact that on average 2/3rds of GP activity takes place on the day, often with such exceptionally high speed access that it puts many other services to shame.

    If the access debate is to be had, it must be honest, frank and nuanced, not soundbite villain-bashing.

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  • Too b***** late.
    One way ticket booked.
    Best of luck to all DM readers I am sure they will need it.

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  • Doesn't anyone get it? This is yet another hate campaign by Daily Wail. Except this time, they'll attach some "facts" to make it even more poisonous.

    They will link they surgeries where Pt has a story with average practice earning, soon to be published. Daily Wail will then say "Dr X is milking the tax payers because he earns above average and his patients says they cannot see him for 4 weeks"

    Only we know "average earning" doesn't reflect our take home or the investment we've made. A partner taking out business loan to pay for building should get paid for the business risk he is taking - who else is going to find money for the premesis? Many of my patients complain how hard it is to get an appointment yet all of us had some unused slots over 1/2 term.

    These guys are after our blood and the so called facts they will be displaying will not have any science or logic behind it.

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  • can they just go back to getting the bankers?
    look at HSBC and HMRC, despite whistle blowing the HMRC did nothing. The legitimate tax would have paid for more GP access than anyone would know what to do with.
    Surely they should investigate all that jazz if they are trying to uphold the rights of common people

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  • I just do not understand the DMs motives.

    I attended a meeting sponsored by one of the major indemnity organisations last year . A full time national journalist from another paper spoke about 'dealing with the press' - he was as puzzled as anyone as to what the DM's hate campaign is all about.

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