Here is a list of my objections to the proposal by Commissioning Board medical director Sir Bruce Keogh announced in today’s Sunday Times for general practice in UK to be open for business at weekends
- For GP, it may be practices, not doctors ordered to be “open”
- Cannot see this working unless adequate resources released to pay the support staff, let alone the extra doctors. And the support staff will need to agree to work too!
- Will not be helpful for patients unless hospital services are also fully open for business when we are. At least Bruce Keogh understands this
- The idea that this is necessary is politically driven and not based on evidence. Accept that some areas may benefit from this (e.g. inner city populations) but rural areas and leafy suburbs unlikely to benefit.
It would be better to spend the money on a EHR which OOH GPs can access at any time (and write in!) – allows centralised OOH service allowing those who wish to work unsocial hours to do so.
In short, the proposal should be strongly resisted at the present time. Doctors (and nurses) need to be nurtured not threatened to get the best from us!
Finally, does the public really want their GPs to be available 7 days a week?