Comment: Punishing unattended GP appointments could alleviate pressure on surgeries

3rd December 2019

Punishing unattended doctor appointments could relieve pressure on GP demands, that’s according to Fletchers Solicitor’s Medical Negligence Solicitor, Angel Chen.

Angel’s comments are in response to the news GPs are not expected to work full-time in the future.

The study sourced from The King’s Fund states that full-time hours for GPs is unsustainable because heavy workloads. 

Angel said:

This news come as no surprise, as it has been a long ongoing issue for some time, both for GPs and the patients.

GPs have been working under tremendous pressure and are overloaded with patient demands.

On the other hand, patients have found it extremely difficult to make appointments to see GPs. 

We now have a situation where doctors and patients feel the quality of treatment and care has been jeopardised.

One possibility is to make patients accountable for failing to attend appointments.

With a proper system in place, a non-paid doctors fee could link to people’s credit check.

This may sound very harsh, but is it not logical and fair that people should be paying for wasting public funds?

Angel suggests punishing those who do not attend pre-booked appointments
Surgeries face another winter of strain ahead

Data shows one in 20 trainee GPs plan to work full-time after qualifying.

Furthermore, the vast majority propose to work somewhere between one-and-a-half and three-day weeks.

Professor Martin Marshall, the new chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, told The Daily Telegraph

“The idea that we can see 50, 60, 70 patients a day, five days a week, is crazy,

“It is difficult to be as sharp on your 50th patient of the day, or [checking] your 200th blood test,” he said.

“Each one involves a clinical decision, it carries a risk, which is an innately stressful decision to make; it carries a degree of anxiety that you might make a mistake or misdiagnosis. Decisions can be life or death.”

Angel backs Professor Martin Marshall’s concerns around patient safety and reiterates the need for a more focussed doctor’s appointment booking policy.

She concluded:

This has put both GPs and patients in danger. GPs come under too much pressure and suffer mental stress and thus become open to making more mistakes, causing avoidable injury to patients.

This in turn costs the government more money to compensate these patients and costs the NHS more money to treat these injured patients on a long-term basis.

This has been a vicious circle for some time.

With a proper system is in place, a non-paid doctors fee could link to people’s credit check.  This may sound very harsh, but is it not logical and fair that people should be paying for wasting public funds?

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