.. paved with good intentions: Cameron tells GPs to work at weekends

In a front page headline in The Times the Conservative party shows how out of touch they are with the profession that they have neglected. Francis Elliott and Matt Dathan report 30th September 2014: Cameron tells GPs to work at weekends

The language shows the dissonance. “Forcing GPs” to do anything when they are self employed and have a legally agreed contract for patient care is negative. Promising to increase numbers over a short timescale when it takes 10 years to train a GP is real “denial” of the hapless political system with 5 year changes in direction and first past the post elections. Fortunately Mr Cameron is only talking about England…. Other Regions are unlikely to follow.. I suppose every citizen would like to think that his personal GP would see him at any time… good intentions on a very rough road ahead. The threat may lose most GP votes, and it may affect the career choices, particularly of women, who find General Practice much more child friendly that other careers in medicine. Perhaps GPs wanting more normal hours will think more of the other regions when they choose where to live, giving these regions a competitive advantage.. I have not even touched on the lack of trainers, appropriate posts, and postgraduate training capacity…. Medical and Dental Education

We could import more doctors. Perhaps we could clone our current GPs? (sic)

Weekend NHS

Patients will be able to see their doctor on Saturdays and Sundays under plans to be set out by David Cameron today.

A pledge to force GPs to open their surgeries on seven days a week within five years is part of a wider package of measures to improve access to family doctors. Others could include 12-hour surgery opening, consultations and prescriptions by email and the right to register at more than one practice.

The “doorstep offer” on weekend doctors’ appointments comes after Ed Miliband put the NHS at the heart of Labour’s election campaign last week by pledging to use a mansion tax to boost health service coffers.

It comes on the third day of the Conservatives’ last conference before the election. In other developments yesterday:

George Osborne, the chancellor, announced a £3 billion two-year freeze on benefits that will affect more than five million working households. Combined with moves to stop benefit claimants blowing their welfare payments on alcohol by using pre-paid cards, the measures spawned fears from MPs that the party would isolate blue-collar voters.

Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, appealed to Nigel Farage and other Ukip supporters to return to the “great Conservative family”.

Philip Hammond, the foreign secretary, added to unease over Europe after he admitted that Britain could fail to secure EU treaty change.

The GP access package will cost £400 million during the course of the next parliament and will be paid for from existing budgets, Mr Cameron will say. He will also promise to bring back named GPs for all patients, placing the responsibility for each person’s out-of-hospital care under one doctor. The measure was scrapped by the last Labour government.

“People need to be able to see their GP at a time that suits them and their family,” Mr Cameron is to tell the conference in Birmingham today. “That’s why we will make sure everyone can see a GP seven days a week by 2020. We will also support thousands more GP practices to stay open longer, giving millions of patients better access to their doctor….

NHS History

Update 1st October 2014:  Francis Elliott and Matt Dathan  Cameron tells GPs to work at weekends

 Patients will be able to see their doctor on Saturdays and Sundays under plans to be set out by David Cameron today.

A pledge to force GPs to open their surgeries on seven days a week within five years is part of a wider package of measures to improve access to family doctors. Others could include 12-hour surgery opening, consultations and prescriptions by email and the right to register at more than one practice…..

Kat Lay reports: Give us more resources or forget out-of-hours surgeries, warn GPs

and LYNDSAY BUCKLAND reports for The Scotsman 30th September 2014: Stressed doctors urged to work part-time in bid to avoid burnout

This entry was posted in A Personal View, General Practitioners, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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