Boris Johnson urges GPs to offer more in-person consultations with patients amid growing calls to halt remote appointments 

- Advertisement -


  • Boris Johnson pressured the GP to give more in-person consultations last night
  • His spokesman said that every patient has the right to meet face-to-face
  • 57 percent of GP appointments now happen in person, compared to 80 percent before the pandemic
  • Doctors say phone appointments allow them to get through to more patients
  • But critics agree that doctors are more likely to miss symptoms of a more serious illness if they don’t see someone in the body.

- Advertisement -

Boris Johnson last night pressured the GP to offer more individual consultations.

His spokesman said that every patient has the right to make a face-to-face appointment if they so desire.

advertisement

A day after launching a campaign to improve access to family doctors by mail, Downing Street said: ‘The public rightfully wants to see their GP face-to-face – and GP practices should make this available to their patients. .’

Amid fears of cancer and other serious health conditions being missed in far-flung consultations, charities and politicians are struggling to get the prime minister to act.

- Advertisement -

There are now only 57 percent of GP appointments, compared to 80 percent before the pandemic.

“The relationship between a GP and his patient really depends on a face-to-face consultation,” said former Tory health secretary Kenneth Clark.

‘I find it difficult to see how anyone could make a completely accurate diagnosis of the symptoms described over the telephone.

‘I think face-to-face appointments should go back to pre-pandemic levels and I don’t know why they can’t.’

A day after launching a campaign to improve access to family doctors by mail, Downing Street said: ‘The public rightfully wants to see their GP face-to-face – and GP practices should make this available to their patients. .’

Former Tory health secretary Kenneth Clark said,

“The relationship between a GP and his patient really depends on a face-to-face consultation,” said former Tory health secretary Kenneth Clark. ‘I find it difficult to see how anyone could make a completely accurate diagnosis of the symptoms described over the telephone’

Only 57 percent of GP appointments now happen in person, compared to 80 percent before the pandemic

Only 57 percent of GP appointments now happen in person, compared to 80 percent before the pandemic

Mail’s campaign to restore individual appointments to normalcy picks up:

  • One study found that patients who were given telephone appointments were more likely to end up in A&E
  • In one in five regions, face-to-face appointment rates are even lower than in January
  • Private providers reported an increase in the number of people paying for face-to-face access
  • More stories emerge of patients developing serious condition after struggling to see GP
  • The BMA, the trade union for doctors, issued a strong statement saying that GPs are seeing lakhs of patients face-to-face every week.

Doctors say telephone and video appointments allow them to get through to more patients.

But critics agree that the pendulum has gone too far and that doctors are more likely to miss signs of a more serious illness if they don’t see someone in the flesh.

Pressed on the issue yesterday, the Prime Minister's spokesman said: 'The NHS is clear to each GP exercise that they should provide face-to-face appointments, and we fully support this

Pressed on the issue yesterday, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said: ‘The NHS is clear to each GP exercise that they should provide face-to-face appointments, and we fully support this

Caroline Abraham of the charity Age UK said older people were struggling with telephone triage.  She added: 'We urge NHS England to challenge and support GP practices that have advanced too rapidly in the use of technology.'

Caroline Abraham of the charity Age UK said older people were struggling with telephone triage. She added: ‘We urge NHS England to challenge and support GP practices that have advanced too rapidly in the use of technology.’

Pressed on the issue yesterday, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said: ‘The NHS is clear to every GP exercise that they should provide face-to-face appointments, and we fully support this.

‘During the pandemic GPs have worked hard to see patients and appointment numbers have returned to pre-pandemic levels.

‘It is fitting that the public expects to be able to see their GP in person, if necessary.’

Although Downing Street’s comments are a positive move, there is no commitment to take action.

There have been calls to change the way GP practices are funded to encourage doctors to see patients face-to-face.

The pressure group Silver Voice is campaigning for a statutory duty on them to allow patients to perform in-person surgery if they wish.

Caroline Abraham of the charity Age UK said older people were struggling with telephone triage.

She added: ‘We urge NHS England to challenge and support GP practices that have advanced too rapidly in the use of technology.’

The BMA said: ‘The move was for an initial telephone consultation to assess a patient’s needs, and is in line with guidance from NHS England and the Government.

‘Many patients have really appreciated the benefit of alternative types of consultations, followed by a face-to-face appointment if needed.’

Mel from three case studies reveals how they were influenced by GPs' reluctance to meet face-to-face

Mel from three case studies reveals how they were influenced by GPs’ reluctance to meet face-to-face

case study one

I was tricked… then found out I had a tumor

A new mother who was suspected of having bowel cancer has described how her doctor ‘betrayed’ her for months – before it was too late to detect the disease.

It then took a year for marketing worker Jenny Carter to have surgery to remove the tumor.

The 37-year-old initially tried to meet face-to-face in March last year, when she was three months pregnant with her first child.

Since his mother Christina was seriously ill with bowel cancer and had an uncle who suffered from the disease, he feared most when he experienced bleeding.

But her GP told her over the phone that she was too young to have bowel cancer and without seeing her was diagnosed with hemorrhoids – which are common among pregnant women.

Surgeon had refused an in-person appointment, but agreed to take a stool-sampling kit in July 2020.

When her specimen was lost, Miss Carter of Hornchurch, Essex, turned to the GP – calling it ‘the last straw’.

Jenny Carter (pictured with daughter Penelope) was 'phobe off' by doctors for months, before undergoing a late diagnosis and surgery to remove a tumor a year later.  The 37-year-old initially tried to meet face-to-face in March last year, when she was three months pregnant with her first child.

Jenny Carter (pictured with daughter Penelope) was ‘phobe off’ by doctors months ago…

.

- Advertisement -
Mail Us For  DMCA / Credit  Notice

Recent Articles

Stay on top - Get the daily news in your inbox

Related Stories