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Secret Diary: Rebuilding General Practice

The British Medical Association and the General Practitioners Defence Fund (GPDF) has launched a fightback against all the negative press and government comments on the state of General Practice. It’s called Rebuilding General Practice.

We are being asked to send out this letter, along with an excellent video to all our patients, as well as putting it on our TV screens to highlight the many things we are doing to help and be there for our patients and set the facts straight.

The message is loud and clear—we are here, and have remained here, throughout the Covid Pandemic, and we have adapted to the changes in many new ways. We can look after our patients.

I have repeatedly said in past blogs that we lack the support of organisations like the BMA and GPDF, so this is a welcome stance from both of them.

I would like them to go further and issue letters explaining that GPs are not the only people that can be seen in practice and that there are many different skill sets in place.

We need to promote advanced nurse practitioners, physician associates, social prescribers, paramedics and so on that now make up a sizeable number of clinicians in general practice.

However, patients are not aware of the different type of clinicians in surgery and in some cases refuse to see them, or after seeing them complain and demand to see a doctor right away.

I do recognise that General Practice has issues, and change can be scary, but we cannot let patients dictate who they will and will not see.

I do hope that we all distribute the letter and get behind this campaign. Let’s hope this is just the beginning of the fightback.

COVID

It looks as though the number of new Covid cases is reducing day by day and now we are under 10,000. That is really is encouraging news, however I fear that we may become complacent as we cannot be sure of what will happen next.

There is talk of other variants, and of an autumn vaccination programme for over sixty-fives and those in at-risk groups.

I hope we are not going to be left with organising all this at the last moment, however, and that we learn sooner rather than later if we are expected to deliver this.

As a practice, for now we are still wearing masks when walking around the practice and still have a socially distanced waiting room. Most patients are compliant when asked to wear a mask.

Other thoughts

We are also being told of an increase in measles, hepatitis and a new monkeypox outbreak; it is concerning that some of these diseases which we thought had gone, are coming back.

Finally, I wonder how others are managing the delays in ambulances attending patients. Increasingly, we are getting patients calling to say someone has fallen and the ambulance service has said there will be a long delay, and that they should call the GP to come out and pick the patient up. This is totally unacceptable and certainly not something our GPs will do.

 

 


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