The Herald

New hours will put GPs at increased risk

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YOUR leader (March 1) suggested that it would be an advantage for working patients to see their doctor at weekends for check-ups on chronic conditions such as diabetes. This will not work for several reasons.

Chronic conditions such as diabetes require blood tests – there is no routine blood delivery or blood testing service available at weekends. Diabetics require the expertise of chiropodis­ts, dieticians and specialist nursing staff – none of these staff will be available at these times.

This ill-conceived and meanspirit­ed plan is designed purely to make politician­s look good. It should be clear that it is having the opposite effect. If it does come to fruition then, from reliable soundings I have taken , there will be very few surgeries joining this scheme. Those that do will be able to provide only a minimal service. Reduced staffing levels in premises mean reduced security and the very real possibilit­y of further assaults on staff. These plans should be abandoned now. Dr Colin Guthrie, The Surgery, 1448 Dumbarton Road, Glasgow. MAY I take issue with a number of points raised (The Herald, March 1) regarding the funding of enhanced access of GP practices.

The figure of £19,000 being quoted as additional funding for the average practice for an extra two and a half hours opening per week is incorrect. Approximat­ely half of this is money that we already earn under the new contract that the government will unilateral­ly remove from current funding, irrespecti­ve of how we vote. This money comes directly from improvemen­ts in clinical care areas and chronic disease management.

Secondly, the remaining “extra funding” will be used up easily for the basics such as heating, lighting, staff pay and security for the extra working hours.

I consider myself a very patientcen­tred GP, and I am disgusted how your leader claimed GPs should embrace this change for the sake of patients. I fear that failing to resist these changes aggressive­ly at this juncture is truly GPs letting their patients down. Dr Robert McGonigle, Dumbarton Health Centre.

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