Thursday, 15 May 2014

We need a "Best Practice" for GP appointments.

News that Ed Miliband has unveiled plans for a "GP guarantee" so patients can see a doctor within 48 hours if they want to and on the same day if they need to. is interesting in that  here Wales, Labour of course  are in power and in control of Health provision.

So we may well ask how come Carwyn Jones not follow suit.

Last week after being discharged from Hospital after being readmitted I went to my LOCAL gpsurgery and sought a appointment with the GP who had been dealing with my case.

I was told by the receptionist who must be one of the harassed and stressed individuals working in the NHS that I could not see him for at least a week.

Unless of course  I rang at 8 O'clock the next day and made an emergency appointment  ,when I then could see him that day . But in theory this would only  deal with one complaint.

And this what many do even though its not really an emergency they faced with up two Weeks wait  ring for such an appointment and jump the queue.

And who can blaim them.

In a major speech in Manchester on the NHS, the Labour leader pledged an extra £100m for GP surgeries in England aimed at creating three million more appointments a year.
His vow came as Labour switched its campaigning for the local and European elections on to health.
Under Labour's plans, dismissed as "unfunded pie-in-the-sky" by the Tories, every NHS patient would have the right to consult a doctor or nurse the same day, with a face-to-face appointment in the surgery that day if they needed to be seen quickly.
Those who did not need to see a doctor or nurse immediately and whose problem could not be dealt with remotely would be guaranteed an appointment within 48 hours.
Patients would also be given a right to book non-urgent appointments with the GP of their choice more than 48 hours in advance.
"This will be better for patients, because they have better access to their GP surgery; better for the NHS, because it will save money currently spent in A&E; and better for Britain, because it is the kind of health service we need," Mr Miliband said.

Of course devolution means different  priorities and solutions and the Welsh Assembly can't pluck money out of the air as Miliband seems to be able to do in England.
But maybe we need a review of how GP surgeries work and find out which as the best Practices  not only appointment time but satisfaction by Patients after they consultation. 
And then the assembly introduce a standard method for appointments  throughout Wales  with some leeway to adjust for local circumstances.
Meaningless promises and even more money (welcome as the latter may be) may not be the solution but finding a way to see that people can see GP as soon as possible without taking up emergency appointments when it is not really one   may be the best practice (pun intended) 

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