Put GPs in charge of NHS Track and Trace, MP demands

23rd October 2020 by NASGP

Put GPs in charge of NHS Track and Trace, MP demands

An MP has called for GPs to be given control of the ailing track and trace system for Covid-19, Pulse reported.

Catherine McKinnell, the Labour MP representing Newcastle North, told Parliament: “GPs will be the people who can see the overlap in Covid symptoms such as fever and a dry cough, and the classic flu symptoms of fatigue, sore throat and headaches.”

In a previous parliamentary debate, shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth called for GPs to sit “in the driving seat of testing, to give local authorities the localised data that they need and to begin a programme of routine testing of all NHS staff, whether symptomatic or not”. 

But the RCGP warned that GPs should not be asked to prop up the system: “If patients with symptoms of Covid-19 or people at risk of infection start attending GP appointments as a first port of call, it risks compromising infection control measures that have been put in place and has the potential to further spread the virus.” 

Dr Richard Fieldhouse said: “We are undoubtedly heading for an extremely busy winter, and as many GPs as possible will be needed on the front line. 

“Statements like these seem to be more about rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic rather than actually solving the problem, which is creating an effective Test, Track and Trace system.

“If politicians can fix that, GPs can be left to do the job they are already experts at: taking care of patients.” 

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