Government has left GPs to explain treatment delays, GPC Scotland chair warns

7th December 2020 by NASGP

Government has left GPs to explain treatment delays, GPC Scotland chair warns

The Government’s failure to tell the public about treatment delays has left GPs and practice staff catching their anger and frustration, Dr Andrew Buist has warned. 

Speaking at this year’s Scottish LMCs conference, the chair of the GPC for Scotland told colleagues: “I don’t think we have done enough as a country to explain to the public what is happening in healthcare.”

Dr Buist echoed the BMA’s repeated calls for a clear public health message campaign. 

He said: “It can’t just be left to clinicians on the front line to explain to every patient why their treatment will be delayed. We don’t know how long they will have to wait, we have no idea, because no one tells us.” 

He also warned that the delivery of a new Scottish GP contract, already hindered by workforce problems, would almost certainly now miss its April 2021 deadline. 

Dr Fieldhouse said “It always takes much longer – and uses more energy – to explain bad news to a patient, than to deliver good news or advise a change in lifestyle. So even though this will be politically sensitive, it will be in everyone’s best interest for the Government to start warning people about the expected delays as soon as possible.”

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