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Appointment time cuts are madness

General practice is the mainstay of the NHS – and is already working beyond capacity, having taken on a huge workload from secondary care.

Chronic kidney disease alone has probably increased my daily workload by 30 minutes. I consistently run 30-60 minutes late because of the incredibly complex problems I am presented with – often because of woeful secondary care management.

It is an insanity beyond belief that a cut in our appointment times is proposed (‘BMA call to arms on GP appointment time cuts'). We have to say no – it is our careers that will be on the line when we make errors because of this. We are responsible for managing our workloads safely.

As ever contract targets will try to split the greedy from the sane. We, as a profession, have shot ourselves in the foot over the QOF by achieving too much too quickly and encouraging the powers that be to turn the screws and make our lives almost intolerable. If only we had thought it all through and not just seen pounds signs we wouldn't be where we are now.

Dr Richard Holman
Barnstaple, Devon

To even suggest such an initiative demonstrates a total lack of understanding of healthcare or its delivery. The fundamental transaction is the GP consultation. If that is rushed it inevitably leads to increased use of resources upstream coupled with massive patient dissatisfaction.

Once again the NHS has spent lots of money on consultants. McKinsey has a high reputation in the world of business and does not come cheap. But a five-year-old could come up with better suggestions than these.

Dr Dermot Ryan
Loughborough, Leicestershire

Of all the dreadful things affecting the NHS, and GPs in particular, that I have read over the past few years, this is the most disturbing. If any of these proposals become reality, the impact on the quality of care will be devastating. It is particularly ironic that in the same Pulse Daily email we learn that NHS Choices costs taxpayers £27m a year.

Dr John Pike

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