This site is intended for health professionals only

Public invited to ‘positive discussion’ about perceived GP access decline

Public invited to ‘positive discussion’ about perceived GP access decline

The public has been invited to join a ‘positive discussion’ about GP access challenges in one area.

Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) ICB has invited members of the public to ‘share their experiences of services at their GP practice’ and ‘help to improve’ them at an event to be held later this week.

It comes as GPs face ‘significant challenges’ and patients believe that ‘access to their GP is not as good as before the pandemic’, according to the ICB.

ICB chair David Sissling said: ‘Primary care is often described as the “front door” of the NHS and most people’s care is through their GP practice, so this is an important topic for people. 

‘It is important to hear directly from local people about how to improve services and explain how primary care is adapting and responding to the challenges through an open and positive conversation.’

ICB chief medical officer and local GP Dr Nil Sanganee said: ‘There are significant challenges in primary care post the Covid pandemic. 

‘As a practising GP, I know from talking to patients that some believe the service – particularly access to their GP – is not as good as before the pandemic and have questions about how practices are changing and responding to the challenges.’

Dr Sanganee added that he ‘really [welcomes] the opportunity to have a discussion with local people, share my experience as a GP and explain the changes taking place’.

Mr Sissling said he ‘hopes’ the event will be a ‘positive discussion’.

The local event focusing on primary care will take place on 8 September and is the first of what the ICB plans ‘to be a regular series of events’, it said.

It comes as NHS England has set out a target to achieve ‘quick wins’ to improve access to GP practices before the end of the financial year, although it did not go into detail about what this would entail.

And the media regulator last month ruled that Mail Online did not breach journalist code by publishing an article claiming that GP access is behind a crisis in England’s A&E departments – a decision the Doctors’ Association UK (DAUK) has said it will appeal.

But despite the ongoing row over GP access, official figures last week revealed that GP practices in England delivered the highest proportion of face-to-face appointments in July since March 2020.

They showed that an estimated 26 million appointments were delivered by practices in July – not including the 23,800 Covid vaccinations completed by practices and PCNs.

Meanwhile, a major Pulse investigation last week revealed that 474 GP surgeries across the UK have closed in the past nine years without being replaced, with small practices on lower funding in more deprived areas most likely to be affected.



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Michael Mullineux 5 September, 2022 6:08 pm

Help us to improve access by not seeking advice for absolutely everything. Possibly try a little self help first. And persist with this for longer than half an hour. Be great if you could stick to what might be described as medical issues. Haven’t had your hospital appointment yet, try chasing it up yourself? And please, I beg you always remove your own splinters …

Patrufini Duffy 5 September, 2022 7:49 pm

It’s free.
You can’t handle life.
No one wants the responsibility.
No one else is open.
You can have what you want.
The staff all left.
We bullied them and closed them down.
It can be a crap job. Public work.
You’re competing with other public.
DNAs are welcome.
There’s been a pandemic, and a lot of healthcare staff couldn’t care less to be honest let alone pay their own bills.

Let’s see what the public think

You know who the NHS never invites to a meeting??

***GP receptionists – they’ll tell you what on earth is going on, with nothing to lose. But your own ignorance.

Dave Haddock 5 September, 2022 8:03 pm

As a patient I would like GP Practices to introduce a charge for booking appointments.
This would improve access, increase funding, and improve GP recruitment and retention.
Thank you.
ps Access has worsened; pretending otherwise looks dishonest.

David Banner 5 September, 2022 11:16 pm

“We demand the right to see a GP of our choosing whenever we like, night or day, 365 days a year”
“Certainly. Of course, we’ll have to double your taxes, or perhaps charge you £30 a consultation”
“What? Don’t be so ridiculous!”
“Well you started it”

Decorum Est 6 September, 2022 2:17 pm

‘You know who the NHS management never invite to a meeting??
GP receptionists – they’ll tell you what on earth is going on, with nothing to lose., but your own ignorance.’

NHS management only hears what it wants to hear.
(I’d go further. NHS management picks their chosen stooges, folk who will recite the pre-written script and have a vested interest in obfuscation)

Truth Finder 9 September, 2022 3:26 pm

The big problem is being pretentious. NHS, the great pretender.
Pretending there is enough and unlimited funding.
Pretending appointments are unlimited.
Pretending there are enough staff.
Pretending all patients follow instructions, turn up to their appointments, take responsibility and use the NHS appropriately.
Pretending the NHS can care for people who cannot cope with life, people who are lazy and abusive.
Pretending it is a world class service that rivals private services.
Pretending all the bureaucracy actually help patients and staff.

John Evans 10 September, 2022 6:06 am

Very unsophisticated example of manipulation through the use of a leading question – must have an abundance of talentless tw*ts in that organisations management team.

I apologise – perhaps not talentless, just recognises that the public cannot sniff out the BS and also cannot be bothered investing more effort in a more subtly worded manipulation.