You're pandering to reactionary GPs
Regarding Pulse's Common Sense on IT campaign, I believe this view of Choose and Book is a reactionary pandering to the conservative nature of elements of UK general practice.
It does not represent the totality of the profession where a significant proportion of GPs both support and use Choose and Book as a better referral method than the classic written and posted referral letter.
Patients uniformly appreciate the prompt receipt of an appointment following a Choose and Book experience without the interminable delays and unreliability built into the old paper system. While teething problems are inevitable, they are much less frequent than detractors would have us believe.
I agree wholeheartedly with the GP colleague who recently wrote much more eloquently than I. 'Funnily enough,' the GP wrote, 'patients seem to prefer arranging an appointment when they want it, and doing so within a day or two (instead of waiting two to eight weeks for a brown envelope with an imposed date). The growing number of patients who've experienced Choose and Book tend to rave about it. 'Choose and Book does what it says on the tin. Thousands of GPs use it every day, but because a tiny number of GPs post nightmare stories, we should go back to 'your appointment is in the post'?'
Yes the platform can be a tad flakey at times (but we all know Royal Mail is 100% reliable, right?), and some GPs have yet to be given a reliable N3 connection. But come on people. Are we once again going to reject an improvement because it isn't perfect (even though the alternative is appallingly inefficient and treats patients like lemmings)?
From Dr Jonathan Shribman, Northampton