The Daily Telegraph

Lives are be­ing lost by GPS’ re­luc­tance to give face-to-face con­sul­ta­tions

- Surgery · Medicine · Twickenham · Streatley · Faversham

sir – I came out of re­tire­ment to work full-time as a GP in mid-march. It soon be­came ap­par­ent to me that nearly all of my col­leagues were very re­luc­tant to do face-to-face con­sul­ta­tions or vis­its, many not do­ing any at all.

As a di­rect con­se­quence, lives have been lost. This is a na­tional dis­grace. Dr Gregory Tan­ner

Mid­dle­zoy, Som­er­set

sir – I was out­raged by Clive Hil­ton (Letters, Oc­to­ber 5) sug­gest­ing doc­tors had time on their hands to write letters. Like all other groups, they have the right to de­fend them­selves against the re­cent spate of ac­cu­sa­tions.

Most GP surg­eries have adapted well and con­tinue to of­fer a face-to-face ser­vice if deemed ap­pro­pri­ate. Mine has ex­cel­lent triage, as do oth­ers I am aware of.

Cllr Alan Law

Streat­ley, Berk­shire

sir – Any­one who thinks GPS’ surg­eries are “open” is badly mis­taken. I went to­day to drop in a pre­scrip­tion, as I do reg­u­larly for my part­ner. For the third time since lock­down I wit­nessed pa­tients be­ing forced to queue out­side, two peo­ple in the cold and pour­ing rain. Last time there was an el­derly gen­tle­man us­ing two sticks in a queue.

The surgery is mod­ern, large and airy. Wait­ing ar­eas are huge. Why are sick peo­ple be­ing treated in such a dis­grace­ful way?

Karen Gwynn

Broms­grove, Worces­ter­shire

sir – You of­ten pub­lish letters from doc­tors say­ing that surg­eries are “open”. In com­mon with many peo­ple who are deaf or hear­ing im­paired, I can’t use the phone. So phone con­sul­ta­tions are not help­ful to me.

Many GP prac­tices don’t ac­knowl­edge emails, so there is no way of con­tact­ing them other than vis­it­ing the surgery or writ­ing a let­ter.

This ap­pears to be in breach of the Equal­ity Act and the NHS Ac­ces­si­ble In­for­ma­tion Stan­dard.

Su­san Bright

Twick­en­ham, Mid­dle­sex sir – I was pre­pared for my hus­band and my­self to die from Covid. Pan­demics take out the old; the young and vig­or­ous should carry on.

But I was not pre­pared for watch­ing my hus­band suf­fer for months with no treat­ment. The NHS has wil­fully ne­glected him and con­tin­ues to do so. El­iz­a­beth Bel­lamy

Cleethor­pes, Lin­colnshire

sir – I am quar­an­tined at present. Need­ing a new pre­scrip­tion I tele­phoned my GP surgery, and was abruptly told that they did not talk about pre­scrip­tions over the phone, and that I should con­tact 111. This I did, and, af­ter a very long wait, was told that 111 only deals with emer­gency pre­scrip­tions. I was re­ferred back to my surgery.

Re­luc­tantly, I con­tacted a friend, who called – break­ing quar­an­tine – and took my re­peat pre­scrip­tion re­quest in for me. It was ridicu­lous, but I of­fer no apolo­gies.

Jac­que­line Davies

Faver­sham, Kent

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