“GP’s Cry for Help”

The Chair of the British Medical Association GP Committee recently gave a warning that the family doctor system is “imploding” under the weight of more patients who are increasingly frail.  Dr Nagpaul claimed they were doing 40 million more appointments than five years ago, and that they were forced into providing conveyor belt care 60 times a day.  He added that surgeries are being forced to close because of funding changes, which could leave thousands of patients without a family doctor.

The problem is they are unlikely to get much sympathy from many patients who have long since lost their family doctor.

The old fashioned GP knew you well and looked after you and your family for years.  Would come to your house if necessary at any time of the day or night.  Always over-ran surgery times because consultations took as long as they needed to.  In return they were universally respected as a pillar of the community for their vocational commitment to their profession and their patients.

This is not a nostalgic look back through rose tinted glasses.  It was the reality of a trusted service over many years for the majority of people in this country.

Then all that began to disappear (see “Disappearing GP.s” by clicking on “GP’S” in the TAG CLOUD).

  • Group practices broke the family connection – any doctor can see you now;
  • Over protective receptionists and 10 minute, one issue consultations broke the family friendly service;
  • Deputising services ended night time calls from someone you knew;
  • NHS Direct became a way of by-passing GP’s altogether;
  • Pills were substituted for compassion;
  • £100,000 a year salaries destroyed the idea of vocation.

Now we have a fractured service that both GP’s and patients are unhappy with.


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2 Responses to “GP’s Cry for Help”

  1. This is rather an emotive subject, and difficult to answer, as it depends upon whom you are looking for within the NHS in UK plc. to provide advice help and support. The whole of the UK social fabric needs a radical rethink, and a more realist look at rather than blue skies aspirational promises, which does no one any good and provides a secondary service all around..
    The patient ‘YOU’- are you elderly, frail, lonely, and frightened, do you look for advice, companship, or treatment (In the clinical sense). All the above factors can be dealt with in different ways, do you need a doctor, nurse, or social worker or community group 999 is an easy number to call, and with the modern pendents is it the reason for the call?
    The Medical profession- Doctors Quack- Originally in the 1948 Acyt , or in my young days as a boy, if I needed care or my elderly relatives needed care then the requirements by legislation was to register this complaint with a doctor or his practice. The doctor then forwarded the treatment on to ,a hospital, district nurse, or a social worker.
    Nurses- Here the local practice has taken over from the visiting district nurse, to administer the walking wounded with politces, eye ear treatment and general boils and bumps, after the doctor had dianosed the underlying treatment.
    Hospital- Here the doctor and nurses would generally bring one back from a trauma and into general health.One would then be discharged under the NHS umbrella into respite care, or to home with a visiting district nurse, or midwife, if one is still of that age?
    Social services- here is a wide remit from criminal requirements to senile dementure to loneliness, to financial support for the family unit (What ever ones definition). Finially social support in respect of social gatherings and mobility issues- Care for the infirmed? those of life suffering mobility problems.
    It is a devils brew to see to the bottom of this problem with the NHS and social services within the UK PlC. Take into account immigation and to whom one is talking too as a medical professional, or social worker they maybe British or European or even from the Empire (The old commonweath). This is today in 1948 we had just had a WWII we as The UK voted for a better life and our parents had all stood shoulder to shoulder in defending civilisation, and all was BRitish and we understood the rational, Maybe?
    However in 2014 we are part of the world and what was domestic policy in 1948 is now coping with a world subtlely different to then, and Europe (France had an empire) is now part of a wider social gathering, so we have to change in our views! We cannot support the world in healh care and social care such as the modern NHS and UKplc is trying to do without the income and financial support of those wishing to use our services. The rub is UKplc is growing older and we need the younger generation to support us and our systems, and we may be a little blinkered in the way we all look at life, and our aspirations and ideals are very high minded when in fact we or the UKPLC is ‘Broke’ and the elderly are a facor of life? Have we passed on our hopes and beliefs to our children and the next generation will they support us? or do they see us as blood suckers upon the community?
    What do you belive in??? If you still have a vote use it! It is not time to cry into one gravy, but raise ones eyes above the horizon, and still while one draws breath fight for what one belives in? We may look like a herd of cattle or a flock of sheep:However we are all individuals and we can make a small diference, Just be positive, all problems are there to be solved.

  2. john graham says:

    This is a great post David . Thank you. It takes a statesmanlike mind to broaden a narrow conversation — on GP’s in the UK complaining about their workload — into a global discussion on the future of humanity.
    The world has changed enormously since those idealistic days after the second World War when the NHS was formed. Do we have politicians or voters today that will face up to the global challenges ? I don’t think so. They/we are strong on words but weak on action.
    Technology might come to the rescue, if not then who knows what horrors lie around the corner?

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