The climbdown by NHS England to allow patients face to face appointments is good news. A notion that IT wizardry is a substitute for actual care is dangerous. It is the failure in communication that prompts dissatisfaction with the GP Service.
GP practices and the British Medical Association have many fences to rebuild and mend to regain our confidence in their willingness to provide an appropriate duty of care after the pandemic. Primary care locally in Walsall is broken. Areas with extreme disadvantage, poorer educational attainment and less digital resource are suffering as a direct consequence.
One cannot help but notice that other Healthcare professionals dentists, pharmacists, chiropodists have continued to welcome patients. Aren't GPs our front line services too? Perhaps all the patients who miss appointments without cancellation by informing the GP practices, have led to GP frustration and encouraged less face to face engagement for all.
There needs to be a new agreed 'contract' between GPs and patients. The current malaise is not acceptable. Neither are 10 minute appointments. Patients need time to receive a GPs advice.
We need a better face to face experience for both patients and GPs to improve our health services and our general health.
Doug James, Walsall
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