Sorry...the doctor won’t see you now
MY FATHER was a GP. He did a morning and evening surgery, made house calls and was on call 24 hours a day when it was his turn within the practice. I even remember him being called out on Christmas Day. He also did a surgery once a week in a local shipyard and was on call when needed by the police. He regarded the care of his patients, who he knew well, to be his main priority. He was overworked to the detriment of his health, but knew what being a doctor meant. I don’t think he would understand what is happening to his profession today. I can imagine what his thoughts would be about phone consultations. Isn’t accurate diagnosis and the welfare of patients a GP’s job?
M. HAVARD, Chulmleigh, Devon. THANK you, Daily Mail, for keeping up the pressure on GPs to return to face-to-face appointments. I wrote twice to my local surgery describing my wife’s health problems, but they did little about it. I took her to A&E, where she had blood tests. Lung cancer, heart failure, sclerosis of the liver and kidney failure were diagnosed. She has been discharged from hospital and is visited by care assistants. I complained to the surgery and, guess what, she has been given a phone appointment. What a disgraceful way to treat a lady.
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MY FATHER, who lives in Baildon, W. Yorks, sings the praises of his GP, who stands at the door of his consulting room and watches his patients walk down the corridor. By the time they take a seat, he knows exactly what their health problem is. A phone consultation, in which all that visual evidence is lost, really is an inferior option.
JAN SPENCER, Wolverhampton, W. Mids. THOUGH I am not against remote consultation with a GP as an option, there are times where a face-to-face appointment is essential. Counting the number of registered doctors based at a surgery or medical centre does not give an accurate picture. The rise in the number of part-time GPs and those who combine their practice with other responsibilities obviously impacts on services to patients. The real measure should be the number of GP hours available compared to the number of registered patients.
KATHY SLATER, Kettering, Northants. I RECEIVED a text message from my GP surgery asking me to go for a blood pressure check. However, all that means is that I have to take my own reading from the machine in the waiting room and pass the information to the receptionist. Whatever next? It seems that surgeries are far from back to normal after the pandemic. I’m not impressed.
Mrs JANE MOCKLER, Plymouth, Devon. WE’RE told that GPs only see half of their patients in person. Which half: top or bottom? GARETH EVANS, St Davids, Pembs.