You might have heard that there is a bit of a row going on at the moment about the removal of patients from GP surgery lists.
Now I can understand that patients can be abusive to surgery staff and GPs, and that as a result they need to be put firmly in their place. I am sure that patients do get short tempered when they are ill and can be somewhat rude on occassions and I am equally sure that when tackled, most of them will apologise for their behaviour. End of…
I can also understand that there are a small number of patients who are just bellicose ill mannered pigs and who need to be shown the door. I believe that most fair minded people will accept that this is also perfectly reasonable. There is no excuse for such behaviour.
But what is going on now is far more callous and insidious – a creeping cancer within the NHS system that needs excising forthwith.
Health authorities are going through records and writing to patients who have not been to see their doctor for a while and asking them to confirm that they wish to remain on their doctor’s list. The excuse for this is that patients do move away and not notify their surgery, so it’s just checking up.
What is actually happening is that patients are being given totally unreasonable deadlines within which to respond before being removed. Often the first the patient knows is when he or she tries to book an appointment only to be told that he is no longer registered.
So why is this happening?
Well, it’s simple really. GP practices are paid by the NHS on the basis of head count so the fewer patients are registered with the practice, the less money the government gives them.
Simple, straightforward cost cutting – presumably thought through by an idiot…