Doctor warns plan to rescue Therese Coffey will have ‘MINIMUM impact’

Therese Coffey has admitted practicing GPs goes unpunished if they don’t see a patient within two weeks.

In an interview this morning, the newly appointed Health Secretary said two weeks was ‘an expectation’ rather than a definite target.

Ms Coffey added she did not want to be ‘over-regulated’ by Whitehall on ‘exactly how a GP would run their operations’.

The comments come despite reports last night that ministers could name and shame the worst-performing surgeries in the league tables.

Ms Coffey will unveil plans to improve access to GPs this afternoon as public satisfaction levels for GPs are at an all-time low.

These include requiring GPs to provide same-day appointments for the sickest patients and up to two-week waiting periods for non-urgent patients.

But there will be skepticism as to whether the plans will be enforceable or far enough to make a real difference.

Ms Coffey’s plan also includes new phone systems to make it easier for receptionists to stay up-to-date on their position in the queue.

These changes are intended to reduce the scramble for appointments at 8 a.m. and end the frustration of sounds that are constantly mounted or hung on the line.

There have been reports of patients ringing more than 60 times before passing.

General practitioners will not be punished if they do not make an appointment with a patient within two weeks, Therese Coffey has admitted.

General practitioners will not be punished if they do not make an appointment with a patient within two weeks, Therese Coffey has admitted.

General practitioners will not be punished if they do not make an appointment with a patient within two weeks, Therese Coffey has admitted.

Ms Coffey told Times Radio the Government would ‘want GPs in places to be able to see very urgent cases on the same day’.

She said she didn’t want to be assigned by Whitehall, of course not, the relationship between doctors and their patients is important, but one of the things that we can do specifically is work through across the local NHS, integrative care boards, is to try and make sure we share best practices and then focus on the approaches that may be struggling to implement to meet these needs. expectations that I set on behalf of the patient’.

Ms Coffey said that ‘it will depend on the clinicians, of course, the doctors doing that trial, on who they see on the same day and their priorities.

‘I think it’s only fair that patients, when they’re on the phone, aren’t told they’re likely to have to wait six weeks for appointments, and that’s when we see other people moving into departments of the NHS like A&E.’

On the need for more GPs, she said: ‘We definitely want more GPs, more doctors, that’s all part of our long-term plan that’s been laid out. .

‘What I’m doing at the moment is really focused on ABCD – ambulances, backlogs, care services, doctors and dentists – but I’m very aware that nearly everyone visits The NHS all do that through primary care, through their GPs and that’s why I’m so focused on what I’m going to do to try and help patients get what they want. they expect from the general practitioner and help the general practitioner make it happen. ‘

She was asked on LBC Radio if her commitments meant patients should see their GP in person or whether a phone or video consultation would do.

“I think that opens up the relationship between GPs and patients,” she said.

‘I know that, throughout the pandemic, there are different ways people have interacted with seeing their GP. I wouldn’t be too specified.

‘I know that some people like just being on the phone, but it may be necessary to see a doctor, I know that other patients are very concerned about that.’

She said more than half of the practice sessions have met the expectations she set, but she has no ‘intent to take a tournament table approach’.

Asked if underperforming GPs would face sanctions, she said: ‘Dare I say no… one of the points about opening and publishing data in the way that it can give some patients the opportunity to choose to use a different general practitioner, and doing that also varies. ‘

Ms Coffey was asked on ITV’s Good Morning Britain program what she plans to do with the 130,000 vacancies on the NHS.

She said that patients are ‘her first priority and I will be their champion’.

Ms Coffey added: ‘That’s why I set the expectation that when people are calling to try and make an appointment, of course some people will need to be seen on the same day and the doctor will decide. that, but I think it’s a reasonable expectation that they’ll be able to see their GP within two weeks’ time.

She said funding would be unlocked to be able to recruit and fund different types of staff, such as pharmacists, and this would allow GPs to ‘open their appointments’.

When asked about social care and tackling bed congestion in the NHS, Ms Coffey said the issue was being studied, adding that thousands of people ‘in hospital don’t need medical care. there and will get better care outside of the hospital’.

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