General practitioners would be “horrified” that the new package is being presented as a “lifeline for general medicine” when in reality it could sink the ship completely, “said one expert
The new 250 million
The new measures announced today will enable general practitioners to improve availability and increase the number of in-person appointments and same-day care.
When announcing the program, the Minister of Health said the new package would “address underperformance and relieve staff so they can spend more time with patients and increase the number of personal appointments.”
But dr. Jess Harvey said it was “insulting” to the Minister of Health to claim that GPs were “below average” when many of their colleagues were “working to the bone”.
She invited Mr. Javid to her family doctor’s office to “see what I do every day to show me where I am below average”.
The GP also said the government’s new plan does not address the “real world” problems faced by medical practices, describing the general practice as “on their knees”.
She told BBC Radio 4’s Today program: “The more I read and hear about this proposal, the less I think this government understands the general practice and approach.
“And to be honest, the less they are in touch with what is going on in the real world at the NHS and what is ahead of us.”
The British Medical Association (BMA) has also criticized the rescue package, claiming it shows that the government is “out of touch” with the family doctor crisis.
Dr. Richard Vautrey, Chair of the BMA GP Committee, said: “During our discussions with ministers and the NHS England over the past few weeks, the BMA has made it clear that without a concerted effort to reduce bureaucracy, administration and bureaucracy in the practice, patient access and care ”was in danger.
“Unfortunately, this offer is only tinkering with the margins and will not reduce the unnecessary burden on the practices and thus create more time for doctors to see more patients.”
He added that GPs were “appalled” that the package was being presented as a “general practitioner lifeline” when in reality it could sink the ship as a whole.
But the health minister defended the new package, saying it would help improve access to general practitioners.
Mr. Javid also assured the doctor that the money was definitely “additional funding” and not part of the current winter budget for the top-up.
“It’s all extra funding, every penny of it,” he said. “This is money that I secured for myself in the spending round talks a few weeks ago.”
The minister said the new package “includes action on several fronts” such as: “An additional £ 250 million winter access fund that will help increase capacity.
“There is also action by the UK health authority on changes to social distancing guidelines and then an expansion of the community pharmacy program.
“Taken together, this will help GPs see more people face to face and faster.”
The new announcement also includes plans to introduce a ranking for primary care physicians.
Mr Javid said that providing “more data, more transparency” would help raise standards in primary care practices across the country.
Health minister calls for surgeries to ensure that “patients have a choice” whether to see their GP face-to-face.
Official figures show that 58 percent of family doctor appointments in England in August were face-to-face.
Before the pandemic, in August 2019, 80 percent of the appointments were held in person.
A new YouGov poll suggests two-thirds of people would prefer an in-person appointment.
When asked what type of GP appointment they would prefer, the survey of 5,400 UK adults found that 66 percent would prefer a face-to-face appointment, five percent would prefer a video consultation, and 25 percent said they would not mind the type of appointment they get would.