The reason GPs use blood tests is that they are readily available. Ultrasounds have a waiting list, and are difficult to get in some parts of the country, and travelling is an important expense and overhead in rural areas.
Some 20 years ago our hospital (DGH) was upgrading it’s ultrasound service with a new machine. My partners recognised the need for GPs to have this facility on site, and even offered to send one of the partners on training if we could buy the old machine second hand. It had little or no value… and was eventually discarded. Why were and are we so resistant to change? This same request from GPs is now being requested of us all, when we have too few staff, too few doctors, poor recruitment and undercapacity of both space and people…
Resistance to change is in all of us, and without rationing by co-payment even Mr Hunt takes his children to A&E inappropriately! A letter in The Times from Emma Rowley-Conway today is seminal:
Sir, What hope is there for the NHS when Jeremy Hunt shows ignorance of parts of the health service (“Health secretary takes children to A&E”, Nov 26)? Millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money are spent to provide GP out-of-hours services which are open whenever the GP surgery is closed — and yet he chose to attend A&E. He chose to see a junior doctor instead of an experienced GP, and he chose not to contact the 111 service set up to advise on which services are appropriate. Mr Hunt also seems to be unaware of the £150 million initiatives being funded by the prime minister’s challenge fund to support GP working seven days a week 8am-8pm. Why is he so poorly briefed?
Dr Emma Rowley-Conwy
Chairwoman, Seldoc (out of hours
GP services in Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark and Sutton)