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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