We should be celebrating general practice, not criticising

02 October 2021
3 min read
Volume 32 · Issue 10

Abstract

Recent stories in the national media have piled pressure on general practice. Crystal Oldman explains why the criticism has been unfair

In the last few weeks there has been a public outcry about the lack of access to GP surgeries for face-to-face appointments. When you have been working as a general practice nurse throughout the pandemic offering face-to-face appointments as needed, screening services and vaccinations, this is simply exasperating.

GPs and general practice nurses have been working tirelessly to meet the health needs of their local population and it is completely unacceptable that they are subjected to stories which are simply untrue, verbal abuse on the phone, property damage and – unbelievably – threats of physical abuse from patients.

Those working in general practice have always been extraordinarily vigilant in protecting their patients from harm, and even more so during the pandemic. Face-to-face appointments have continued as needed and telephone consultations have been increased, with telephone triage ensuring that patients are offered the most appropriate appointment for their needs. Clinicians always have patient safety at the centre of all they do; they do not wish to risk missing a diagnosis by not seeing a patient face-to-face and neither do they wish to bring patients to the practice if it is unnecessary. They make an informed and professional judgement through triage with access to the patient record.

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