Health minister says GPs can ‘recommence’ face-to-face in service gaffe

23rd October 2020 by NASGP

Health minister says GPs can ‘recommence’ face-to-face in service gaffe

A new comment by health minister Jo Churchill shows ‘a complete disconnect’ and a ‘lack of understanding of what actually goes on in primary care’, GPs told Pulse

GPs can safely ‘recommence’ face-to-face services in a ‘regular’ manner whilst wearing PPE, Churchill suggested. 

Her comments follow a surge in appointments last month. NASGP’s booking system, LocumDeck, saw GP locum session bookings up 40% between August and September. 

Last week 66 GPs wrote to the Government to warn of ‘non-Covid harms’ to patients from the disruption to access this year.

Dr Richard Fieldhouse said: “It’s certainly galling when the Primary Care Minister appears not to understand what a GP does on a day-to-day basis, and does not seem to recognise the strenuous effort that practices have made to keep working safely for their patients during Covid-19. The public deserves to be better informed about this work and the rising complexity and intensity of the workload that their GPs face. 

“It’s a terrible waste that thousands of GP locums who are willing and able to work are not being properly used to support practices and patients. 

“The NASGP calls on national and local workforce planners to recognise the huge value of GP locums and the valuable role they have to play in the hard work to come this winter.”

You can read this comment in full in Dr Fieldhouse’s blog about this story. 

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