Amid the pressures of the vaccine programme, and all the back and forth around the AZ vaccine and headaches (and, if you are inclined, the horrible attempted land grab in the football), you might have missed the latest Daily Mail special on GPs being closed (and no, I won’t link to it).
This might not be a surprise to many GPs, who are used to these kinds of attacks – and our cover feature from February shows that this is not just their paranoia. It is of course more galling as GPs know that, in fact, demand is growing to pre-pandemic levels, if it is not already there.
Seeing this, two things came to mind: first, what happened to NHS England’s pledge that it ‘can and will do more’ to explain GP practices are open to public? When we asked the press office about this, it simply pointed to its statement in the article that GPs are continuing to see patients face to face.
But the second thing that came to mind was when NHS England said it was constantly reviewing its guidance to GPs around when they should fully open their doors (ie, to patients walking in off the street) again. Because I think that this should become a priority.
It is likely that this guidance will remain the same. But GPs would benefit heavily from a restatement of this guidance. GPs are being bashed in the media, and worse by patients, for ‘not opening’ while everything around them begins to open up. Supporting GPs would be an easy way for NHS England to create a bit of goodwill.
Jaimie Kaffash is editor of Pulse. Follow him on Twitter @jkaffash or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.