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He told the BBC: "Many hard working people find it difficult to take time off to get that GP appointment, so having these pilot schemes... is, I think, a very positive step forward.

"What we need to do is enable the right people with the right ailments, as it were, to either go to a GP or to accident and emergency."

It's the right thing to do, isn't it?

This **** is sounding more like Gordon Brown every day. Are they having some sort of footballer's competition to see who can be the most Brown like without the media picking up on it?

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It's the right thing to do, isn't it?

This **** is sounding more like Gordon Brown every day. Are they having some sort of footballer's competition to see who can be the most Brown like without the media picking up on it?

we need GPs to swoon when a KEY WORKER turns up after a hard day at the Coffee machine.

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The NHS needs competition, 75% reduction in national insurance contributions if you have private health insurance would be a good step in the right direction.

Here in ireland they charge €50 for visiting the GP, the fee keeps the time wasters and repeat offenders out ;)

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The NHS needs competition, 75% reduction in national insurance contributions if you have private health insurance would be a good step in the right direction.

Here in ireland they charge €50 for visiting the GP, the fee keeps the time wasters and repeat offenders out ;)

clearly, living in Ireland, the lesson you learned about the dangers of financialising a market hasnt quite been learned yet.

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With only a finite number of appointments per GP and no increase in GP numbers this will simply mean less appointments during "working" hours.

It will also add to the developing GP recruitment crisis (last one in 90s - early 00s leading to the introduction of the new contract and increased pay)

As someone mentioned above - Ireland is a good example. GPs in the UK get £65 per patient per year to provide medical services. Each patient made just over 7 appointments to see their GP, 10 if you include nurse visits in England in 2012. In Ireland the average is about 2 appointments per year.

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GPs should be offering this service anyway. They get paid enough to.

I agree....they always used to up until Labour upped their pay and reduced their hours........too late now to go backwards, they gave it freely it can't now be taken away. The patients seem to be the last in the pecking order of priorities, sometimes you think the NHS is run for the people that run it. ;)

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With only a finite number of appointments per GP and no increase in GP numbers this will simply mean less appointments during "working" hours.

It will also add to the developing GP recruitment crisis (last one in 90s - early 00s leading to the introduction of the new contract and increased pay)

As someone mentioned above - Ireland is a good example. GPs in the UK get £65 per patient per year to provide medical services. Each patient made just over 7 appointments to see their GP, 10 if you include nurse visits in England in 2012. In Ireland the average is about 2 appointments per year.

****** they did, I make about one GP appointment every 5 years or so and when I do go they give me a funny look and tell me rather patronisingly that I am fine and to come back in a week if it gets worse. (it never does of course!)

So some hypochondriacs must be in there every few days!

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I agree....they always used to up until Labour upped their pay and reduced their hours........

They didn't used to though. What's being talked about is routine appointments 8am-8pm. Yes, GP practices sorted out their own out-of hours (i.e 6:30pm-8:30am) but even from the late 90s this was typically outsourced or organised through groups of practices. This was also for emergency cover rather than routine work. You just couldn't go back to an on-call rota out-of-hours in each practice.

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****** they did, I make about one GP appointment every 5 years or so and when I do go they give me a funny look and tell me rather patronisingly that I am fine and to come back in a week if it gets worse. (it never does of course!)

So some hypochondriacs must be in there every few days!

The figure of 7 appointments is true but is the mean rather than the median. Some people are in their GPs every few days. Not all of them hypochondriacs!

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the NHS is run for the people that run it. ;)

Yes. No joke.

Best way ahead would be to create a wolf-filled forest next to each practice and sit the OAPs in there.

Vikings - a bit of bad PR but they knew how to treat the old.

Seriously, the quote about 7 appointments per head is correct.

But that probably accounts for about only 5% of the patients; 50% of which the GP probably never sees in a decade.

Another good, serious idea would be to have a nurse led clinic weighing people every year.

Go over obese and your tax contribution goes up. A lot.

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Each patient made just over 7 appointments to see their GP

There are 41,349 GPs in the UK serving 63m people. If every person makes 7 GP appointments per year, that would be 567m appointments, or 13,700 appointments per GP per year. Assuming that GPs work 47 weeks per year and 5 days per week, each GP would need to carry out 58 appointments per working day.

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Regarding paying for appointments, I would be interested to see the figures for Ireland in a few years time, for serious illness (cancers, heart disease etc) that are not picked up on at an early enough stage because of people not wanting to spend that money for an appointment because "well it might be nothing" and then waiting too long to get seen. Preventative medicine (including removal of potentially cancerous anomalies early) can save a lot of government money in the long run. Yes, you might have hypochondriacs in there a lot more often if appointments are free, but removing a growth or a mole at a very early stage is a hell of a lot cheaper than leaving it until it is a full blown cancer and being too late to treat it with anything else but chemo and large cocktails of drugs.

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They didn't used to though. What's being talked about is routine appointments 8am-8pm. Yes, GP practices sorted out their own out-of hours (i.e 6:30pm-8:30am) but even from the late 90s this was typically outsourced or organised through groups of practices. This was also for emergency cover rather than routine work. You just couldn't go back to an on-call rota out-of-hours in each practice.

Remember when A&E was for emergencies only, not like we have today being used as a turn up and wait as you go doctors 24 hour surgery for all and sundry to use.....people visiting, not registered with a regular doctor, can't use or prefer not to use pharmacist or phone service etc........Remember when you could turn up and wait without an appointment to see your local GP at the surgery who knew the whole family well and their history, remember they would turn up out of hours at home if there was an emergency such as problems with a young child....this was in a busy part of North London....always a top class caring service. ;)

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My memory of the debate about the new GP contract in the early noughties is that GPs were asked to do a lot more work to make the changes to the health service (arising from the extra spending) work - obviously this is in general terms, so please don't ask for specifics - and in return they got more money and the option to pay someone else to do out of hours work rather than doing it themselves.

The only GP I know works 11 hours days - just weekdays, though - as a partner - and earns about £130K - the same as 10 years ago - I now think it's about right - although I think there's a pretty amazing pension scheme and a tidy profit on selling the partnership at the end.

I think the answer is that we need more GPs so they can go back to doing out of hours coverage.

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My memory of the debate about the new GP contract in the early noughties is that GPs were asked to do a lot more work to make the changes to the health service (arising from the extra spending) work - obviously this is in general terms, so please don't ask for specifics - and in return they got more money and the option to pay someone else to do out of hours work rather than doing it themselves.

The only GP I know works 11 hours days - just weekdays, though - as a partner - and earns about £130K - the same as 10 years ago - I now think it's about right - although I think there's a pretty amazing pension scheme and a tidy profit on selling the partnership at the end.

I think the answer is that we need more GPs so they can go back to doing out of hours coverage.

5 times average wage is way too much.

twice as much would be about right....but differentials in the western world are shot to hell.

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The NHS started as a means to fight sickness, mainly infectious diseases.

A quick trip to your GP or local hospital will sow is 80% an old folks day care/health care.

Sort out what and how much you are willing to spend on OAPs and you'll fix the funding issue.

My mum works at an Old folks home. The amount of unneeded, high risk operations they subject the residents to is a joke.

The OAP does not benefit - the shock sends then dolally.

Its just surgeons practicing (at best), or just padding out their hours (at worst).

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The NHS started as a means to fight sickness, mainly infectious diseases.

A quick trip to your GP or local hospital will sow is 80% an old folks day care/health care.

Sort out what and how much you are willing to spend on OAPs and you'll fix the funding issue.

My mum works at an Old folks home. The amount of unneeded, high risk operations they subject the residents to is a joke.

The OAP does not benefit - the shock sends then dolally.

Its just surgeons practicing (at best), or just padding out their hours (at worst).

yes, older people go to the GP..its obvious...but my GPs waiting room has unfailingly a mum and a snotty toddler, fearing that cold has virtually killed the kid.

In my experience, children tend to get something, and they are virtually disabled.....for about two hours following the trip to the doctor, then as if by magic, they are bored and want to get playing again as if nothing had happened...

Saying that, my youngest had a bad cold and was taken to the GP three times in a week...was given antibiotics...one evening, I just had a bad feeling about her...I took her to casualty where it transpired she had meningitis...if the power drugs they gave her didnt work ( one type was incureable) she would be dead by morning....We had a raft of civies demanding we made something of this misdiagnosis when all we wanted was for the Doctor to be more alert to this thing...

today, following other deaths from that outbreak and a TV campaign, we all know the signs to look for ourselves...our GP missed them..new GP sought and found.

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The only GP I know works 11 hours days - just weekdays, though - as a partner - and earns about £130K - the same as 10 years ago - I now think it's about right - although I think there's a pretty amazing pension scheme and a tidy profit on selling the partnership at the end.

Yes - apparently GPs reap massive annual rewards from privatised practices (x2 if they have a dispensing pharmacy), yet are still eligible for huge *state funded* pensions. IMO, if their businesses are 'private practices' - then the taxpayer should not be on the hook for their oversized pensions for the rest of their lives. Everyone else who 'works for themselves' has to sort out their own pension - why not GPs?

I think the answer is that we need more GPs so they can go back to doing out of hours coverage.

Yep, loads of people seem to want to become doctors - why not double the number of them, and halve the price?

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yes, older people go to the GP..its obvious...but my GPs waiting room has unfailingly a mum and a snotty toddler, fearing that cold has virtually killed the kid.

In my experience, children tend to get something, and they are virtually disabled.....for about two hours following the trip to the doctor, then as if by magic, they are bored and want to get playing again as if nothing had happened...

Saying that, my youngest had a bad cold and was taken to the GP three times in a week...was given antibiotics...one evening, I just had a bad feeling about her...I took her to casualty where it transpired she had meningitis...if the power drugs they gave her didnt work ( one type was incureable) she would be dead by morning....We had a raft of civies demanding we made something of this misdiagnosis when all we wanted was for the Doctor to be more alert to this thing...

today, following other deaths from that outbreak and a TV campaign, we all know the signs to look for ourselves...our GP missed them..new GP sought and found.

Yes. There are some very crap GPs out there. For the cost of the NHS/GP system you'd expect there would be some sort of qulaity control.

There isn't.

An insane mix of meds killed both my Grandad, over the road neighbour and up the road old bloke.

All the same GP.

Sometimes your best of googling.

Meningitis is relativly easy to diasgnose. All you've got to ask is 'Is this a parent who turns up every time the kid has a cold?'

If not and the signs are there, off to emergency you go.

This is one of the very sad results of the NHS IT system being a failure.

The NHS kills loads of people due to lack of basic information.

If the NHS organisation cannot sort a system out then the NHS should be sacked.

FFS there are off the shelf HL7 system in use all round the world!

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Yes. There are some very crap GPs out there. For the cost of the NHS/GP system you'd expect there would be some sort of qulaity control.

There isn't.

An insane mix of meds killed both my Grandad, over the road neighbour and up the road old bloke.

All the same GP.

Sometimes your best of googling.

Meningitis is relativly easy to diasgnose. All you've got to ask is 'Is this a parent who turns up every time the kid has a cold?'

If not and the signs are there, off to emergency you go.

This is one of the very sad results of the NHS IT system being a failure.

The NHS kills loads of people due to lack of basic information.

If the NHS organisation cannot sort a system out then the NHS should be sacked.

FFS there are off the shelf HL7 system in use all round the world!

I reckon if you had to pay £20 to visit, then the advice you got would determine whether you went again, the poor ones would be weeded out dead quick.

As it stands, a criminal GP can literally get away with murder...

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Yes. There are some very crap GPs out there. For the cost of the NHS/GP system you'd expect there would be some sort of qulaity control.

There isn't.

It has been a long time coming, but it is on its way. It is now a legal obligation for every doctor in the UK to be "revalidated" every 5 years. If they don't complete the revalidation process, or they fail it, then they must stop work immediately.

Although this sounds great, in reality, it's basically a tick-box exercise, but one that is a bit more rigorous than your typical office appraisal. Not least because the appraiser who signs a doctor off is potentially personally liable if that doctor later turns out to have been incompetent.

However, as part of the process, every doctor will have to provide a series of written references from colleagues attesting that they are competent and safe, and most (but not, for example, pathologists) will also have to provide a similar series of references from randomly selected patients. This latter part of the process should hopefully filter out those that look good on paper, but are actually hopeless.

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