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Can the Government fail to act on GP waiting times?



It wasn’t long ago that former Prime Minister Theresa May was telling a conference of nurses that there was ‘no magic money tree’ to pay for the NHS. Luckily, since then, the Government has planted a few seeds so we can pay for a no deal Brexit.

Hopefully, there will be enough trees to pay for general practice funding. And, it might be the silly season affecting my thinking, but it may be that this will be the case.

It seems everyone is waking up to the effect of the general practice crisis on patients. We reported this week that the average waiting time for routine appointments was more than two weeks for the first time ever. The story went everywhere.

It seems everyone is waking up to the effect of the general practice crisis on patients

There were front page news stories, stories from patients leading the news programmes, phone-ins across the radio, including an hour-long special on Radio 4’s You and Yours. GPs and patients were giving the same message – there simply aren’t enough GPs.

This has become a big issue beyond general practice, and I am glad Pulse can play a small part in delivering this message.

We know the best solution to the recruitment crisis – funding. It worked in 2004, and it will work again. The question is, can ministers ignore the weight of public opinion and resist similar injections of cash? I’m starting to think not – though that might be the pollen talking.

Jaimie Kaffash is editor of Pulse. Follow him on Twitter @jkaffash or email him at editor@pulsetoday.co.uk