Petition against Government plans to cap visits to GPs!!

I never know how much truth there is in the reports of these things but I can’t believe they’re even considering this!! It just stinks of yet another ill-thought-out plan by the increasingly out-of-touch clique that is our Government. What are people with long-term conditions supposed to do?! It’s not just unfair but also downright dangerous messing with people’s health like this. I understand that the NHS needs reform in some areas but this is not a long-term solution as you’ll just end up pushing more and more people to visit the already crisis-ridden A+E departments that were in the news last week. Jeremy H©unt should be ashamed of himself if there is so much as a shred of truth in this.

Rant over!

I don’t know what sort of limit they’re thinking of imposing, but I think it’s a crap idea. Personally I see my gp once, sometimes twice a month in my current condition. Would that mean I can’t see my GP to keep an eye on my meds etc…? Yet another idea that hasn’t been thought through that they will backtrack on I suspect.

I think its a good idea.
People with long-term conditions or genuine medical need would need to be exempt of course.
Anything to stop people using up ie wasting appointments for runny noses and sore throats would be great…means we can see people who really need a doctor (not just a responsible adult advisor) and we would get more job satisfaction (important at a time when GP moral is really low, not helped by the crap written in the daily mail)
I dont think we would actually enforce it though so it wouldnt work if the government expected that to happen at a practice level.

Or we could have “X” appointments included per year and then they could cost £10 a visit…ie cheap but perhaps enough to make people see a pharmacist instead. The money could then be put back into the local health fund eg to pay for more physio appointments

My thoughts exactly 1+

Sounds like a more thought through idea to me, so here have a +1 :slight_smile:

Here’s a simple fix
Just get the doctors to work less
If the doctors are out on the golf course they can’t see any one

I can understand the thinking behind it but I think introducing charges of any sort is a dangerous slippery slope.

What if those with long term conditions need to go to the GP for a different problem, do they get a quota too? Why should independent pharmacists have to spend a load of time dispensing advice? That’s not their role in this country. You would need to entirely change people’s perception of how our health system works. What if the pharmacist tells them to visit the GP but they’ve already reached their appointment limit?

@Nonsense: Another option would be to let patients visit you (I assume you’re a GP) and then charge them afterwards if you feel they’ve wasted your time! They’ll soon stop wasting your time then. It’s ridiculous.

Educating people as to what is and isn’t a good reason to visit the GP would be best, but people already ignore that advice, so I’m not sure what the best way forward is, but introducing charges is not it!

It wouldn’t work as most GPs wouldnt enforce charges
If I were the only one that did in my practice, patients would never want to see me…and then the practice wouldnt work well
It already happens with other things eg when one doctor is a high antibiotic prescriber, the neurotic first time mums try hard to ensure they see that doctor or when one doctor gives out sicknotes easily the drug addict will always see them.

Pharmacists are very happy to dispense advice…they make a fortune selling cough sweets etc and in many areas there are minor ailment schemes that provides them additional funding. I have spoken to pharmacists about this and they are keen to see patients…they already have lists of conditions that are “trivial” enough eg constipation, thrush, dry skin, ear wax.

Educating patients is very difficult. I still have patients who think they will die if they dont get an antibiotic for a sore throat and I am pretty sure there is a large TV screen displaying these messages in the waiting room where I work. People dont necessary want to know things that dont fit with their agenda and they will justify their thoughts and behaviours in any way possible eg they needed to call an ambulance for their sprained wrist because there might be no seats on the bus and they wouldnt be able to hold on to a rail.

I would prefer that appointments remained free but the NHS was designed for an average of around 2 appointments per year per person…the average now is about 10 (I cant recall the exact figures) and the population is older, sicker and greater in number. There is also going to be less GPs soon as many will retire in the coming 1-2 years due to various changes (funding cuts, threats of reintroducing out of hours responsibility, revalidation, pension reforms) and we just cannot offer “enough” appointments. Also more GPs work part time now, not because they are paid too much, but because the days are getting longer, more stressful and full of paperwork and people want to enjoy life more or alternatively do something with more personal satisfaction.

I actually had a similar conversation with paramedic friends about charging. I shadowed one a few months ago and couldnt believe what crap they got called out to. I recall saying they should charge people for inappropriate calls but then we agreed that there are people who would continue to call and then fight the charges and people who would die at home with a heart attack because they were scared of the cost (the latter group would tend to be old frail people who we should not restrict at all)

Well either way this whole scheme spits in the face of the whole ethos of the NHS. I wonder what Aneurin Bevan would make of this…

I do get annoyed when I go to A&E and it’s completely packed though but everyone but a few actually look fine. Last time I was there I waited 3 hours to be treated for a head injury and dislocated finger, whilst a ‘geezer’ who had come in gone up to reception and said ‘I’ve punched a wall and now I’ve broken my hand’ was taken straight through. They have to do triage and treat everyone fairly but it’s still annoying.

And every time I go to my GP surgery I seem to be the only person who can speak English in the waiting room. Again, no problem as they are all patients the same as me, but still annoying.

I think you’ll find that these “government plans” were really just a talking point, so by all means talk, but no need to start a petition just yet…