Chris PreeceGP Partner
- United Kingdom
About Chris Preece
Main area of expertise
Channels contributed to:GP info: Family Medicine Open Access Content Blogs Most popular content
Rooms participated in:COVID-19 Room
Thank you Dr Preece for putting things clearly and asking the "what ifs".
The whole issue is too complicated for many to understand - just like NHS Pensions and tiered contributions and pension taxation!
In parallel, NHSEI are now also demanding that hospital Emergency Departments stop ambulance handover delays "immediately". As if nobody wanted to do that already and as if there was anywhere to hand patients over to... You are quite right: NHSEI and the Government are behaving like toddlers and our threats / negotiation tactics may not produce beneficial effects for us or our patients. However, unfortunately, these toddlers are the ones holding the wallet and threatening false safeguarding accusations of GPs against their patients.
Where they hold the upper hand is that our message is not clear enough to the public. Nobody wants to read a 2 page document of why the BMA is threatening Industrial Action on behalf of their GP members. If threatening IA we need to simplify and clarify our reasons and communicate them succinctly so that it is obvious that we are protecting our patients. Also, and perhaps more cynically, we need to remember that it is in the BMA's interest for more GPs to become members as this increases the BMA's income, so the BMA are likely to err on the side of "fireworks" to attract more members.
I absolutely agree that what's needed is very simple, clear messaging - particularly as we have a Government that seemingly responds more to what the newspapers are saying than what's actually needed. The message ought to be straight forward - there's not enough capacity to see people and without urgent action the situation will become worse - but it's been muddied, and poorly expressed.
Ironically the furore about face to face appointments ought to be something that could be used to make our point: it's a clear demonstration that GP appointments are hugely valued, whilst illustrating the problem with their growing scarcity - so it's odd that it's instead been allowed to be weaponised against us.