The recession impacts on general practice in two ways: those patients who tend not to attend and just get worse and worse and then attend in crisis and those patients who attend more frequently with stress or anxiety of physical symptoms.
There are some [patients] who can’t afford their prescriptions for whom it´s a simple choice between that or getting some food.
There has been a sea change in south London with more and more requests for letters, reports and medical certificates.
The problem is with patients coming in to get letters that aren’t really necessary – such as those appealing over benefits – is that they are taking up appointments that could be used by the increasing numbers of patients with genuine medical needs.
Dr Simon Parton is chair of Lewisham LMC