Doctors suffering ‘wave of abuse' over lack of face-to-face appointments

Empty doctor’s waiting room – J Hayward/Alamy Stock Photo

The British Medical Association (BMA) says doctors are being subjected to a “wave of abuse” from patients over lack of access to face-to-face appointments.

The union has called for an urgent meeting with Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, amid increasingly fierce rows over the rights of patients to access healthcare.

On Tuesday, the head of the Royal College of GPs said the current situation – with just over half of appointments taking place in person – was “about right”, adding that the public would “get used to it”.

Patients' groups and campaigners have said many vulnerable people have been unable to access care, with coroners linking a string of deaths to remote appointments.

Watch: Boris Johnson visits care home as he announces tax hikes to fund social care overhaul

The BMA said claims that GPs were refusing face-to-face appointments were “dangerous” and “inaccurate”.

Before the Covid pandemic, around 80 per cent of consultations were face-to-face. But in recent months, levels have remained at around 56 per cent, despite NHS guidance in May which gave patients the right to see a GP in person and told doctors to respect their preference.

In a letter to Mr Javid, the BMA council chairman said GPs were using telephone, video and online consultations to assess patients and still providing face-to-face consultations “when this is needed”.

The Health Secretary has said those seeking face-to-face consultations should be given them, with Boris Johnson's spokesman highlighting pledges made by health chiefs in May.

But Prof Martin Marshall, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, told MPs on Tuesday there was no point making such promises when GPs were unable to deliver them.

He told the Commons health and social care committee: “I'd say we are probably about where we should be – a reduction in face-to-face from 80 per cent to 56 per cent on average across the country is probably about right. I suspect patients will get used to remote consultations.”

Prof Marshall said the rapid introduction of such systems during the first lockdown meant GPs were still learning how best to adopt them.

“It's hardly surprising that it's taken time for both clinicians and patients to get used to it, but I do suspect that patients will get used to it,” he added. “I don't think we're going to go back to 80 per cent of consultations being face to face.”

Asked about the promises given to the public that their preferences should be respected, Prof Marshall said: “There's no point in having a right if it's undeliverable, and it is essentially undeliverable because of the workload pressures.”

Prof Marshall warned that shortages of doctors meant GPs were increasingly unable to deliver safe care. With the average GP now working three-and-a-half days, he said the model of a full-time GP was “probably something we won't see again”. Research has found just one in 20 trainees intends to do the job full-time.

Watch: Tax hike will clear NHS backlog and end 'cruel lottery' of social care costs, says PM

He said it was not his job to suggest other GPs should work longer hours, saying many of those working three-day weeks were working up to 12 hours a day.

And he added: “I don't think it would be our job as a professional body to force people into working more sessions where they don't feel safe working those extra sessions, and that's the position we're in at the moment.”

Prof Marshall said patients could not expect their own preferences to be followed, saying decisions had to be “shared decision between the clinician and the patient”. Asked about the risks of such systems, such as cases of cancer being missed, he said: “I think it's happening less [than at the start of the pandemic] but there still is a risk of it.”

‘We hear too many accounts of patients pleading to see their GP’

Dennis Reed, the chief executive of Silver Voices, a campaign group for the elderly, said: “It seems to me really arrogant to suggest the level of face-to-face appointments is about right when we are hearing so many accounts of patients – especially elderly ones – suffering and unable to get the help that they need from their GP. We need to get back to at least the levels of before the pandemic.

“We are hearing too many accounts of patients pleading and pleading to see their GP, doing battle with receptionists, and only able to get an appointment by phone or online. The practice of 'remote first' appointments is inherently unsafe and bound to miss symptoms.”

In May, NHS England chiefs promised to abandon a system of “total triage” introduced during the first lockdown, giving patients the right to see a GP in person.

But unions reacted angrily, and since then the percentage of appointments which are taking place face-to-face has remained almost unchanged, reaching 57 per cent in July.

In the letter to Mr Javid, the BMA called for a change in legislation to increase the maximum prison sentence for assault against emergency workers from 12 months to two years.

It comes after four members of staff at the Florence House Medical Practice in Openshaw, Manchester, suffered injuries on Friday afternoon. Two were taken to hospital with head injuries and a 59-year-old man was arrested and charged with assault.

Watch: Health Secretary reveals possible plan B triggers after experts warn hospital admissions may soar

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related


Next stop extinction? 32-year-old Najin, one of the world's last two northern white rhinos, won't have her eggs harvested to help a breeding program save the species as old age and illness take their toll

Scientists said Najin, one of the world's last two northern white rhinos, is retiring from the breeding program to save the speciesShe will not have her eggs harvested as old age and illness are impacting her Doctors found multiple, small benign tumors in her cervix and uterus and a 25 centimeter cyst in her left ovaryFatu - Najin's 20-year-old daughter - is the only donor left in the programResearchers have created a total of 12 embryos so far that will be placed into surrogate mothers, likely southern white rhinos  Read more »

Former Spanish king's sex drive ‘was a danger to the state'

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia in 2008 The former king of Spain was injected with female hormones as his sex drive was considered a “state problem”, according to a ... Read more »

Cut Covid vaccine booster wait to five months to save Christmas, says Jeremy Hunt

People queue for Covid booster vaccinations in London – Ray Tang/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Jeremy Hunt, the former health secretary, has said the Government should change the rule that ... Read more »

Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank's family home is made up of five properties – inside

Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank moved out of Ivy Cottage at Kensington Palace and into Frogmore Cottage on the Queen's Windsor estate in November 2020, just months before welcoming their ... Read more »

Covid vaccine booster wait could be cut to five months

People queue to receive booster vaccinations in London – Ray Tang/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Covid booster jabs could soon be opened up to millions more elderly people under plans ... Read more »

Mosaic floors from the 1,500-year-old lost 'Church of the Apostles' built over the homes of Jesus' disciples Peter and Andrew are discovered in Israel

Mosaic flooring was found in an Israeli biblical city that experts say was inside the lost Church of the ApostlesDating back some 1,500 years, the flooring includes two inscriptions written in ancient GreekThe text mentions a deacon and a building project, along with a half medallion and words of the bishopThe Church of the Apostles is said to have been atop of the home of Jesus' apostles Peter and Andrew  Read more »

Kim Kardashian is spotted wearing a purple pair of Apple's unannounced Beats Fit Pro that boast an AirPods feature to adjust sounds based on your environment and fit of the earbuds

Kim Kardashian was spotted wearing Apple’s unannounced Beats Fit Pro earbuds while running errands in Los Angeles, CaliforniaA source familiar with the matter confirmed to that Kardashian is wearing the unreleased earbuds Speculation has swirled that the earbuds could be launched next month Read more »

Regulator orders Apple, Google to hand over app store payment system data

American tech heavyweights are facing yet more scrutiny of their payment practices. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has ordered Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, PayPal and Square to hand over info ... Read more »

Website builder Boxmode partners with NING to take on WordPress

The website builder Boxmode has announced a new partnership with the community management and social media platform NING in an effort to become an affordable WordPress alternative. The decision to ... Read more »

40 unique and romantic gifts for all types of husbands

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. It’s not easy putting yourself in the shoes of your husband—especially ... Read more »

Intel reports earnings as competitors rush to tout their own chips

Yahoo Finance’s Dan Howley talks Intel‘s earnings. Read more »

Fix for AMD Windows 11 performance bugs available now – here's how to download

AMD Ryzen 5000 owners rejoice, there is now a fix for the performance problems encountered with certain processes and apps on Microsoft’s new Windows 11 operating system. As Windows 11 ... Read more »

HBO Max and HBO's US subscriptions dip following Amazon exit

© Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge HBO Max is still growing — but the service appears to have felt the impact of its exit from Amazon Prime Channels ... Read more »

Your Xbox Series X's dashboard can now display in native 4K

Microsoft’s October update for the Xbox Series X includes the long-awaited jump to a native 4K resolution dashboard. Previously, the system software upscaled 1080p to 4K, by which enthusiasts, including ... Read more »

Olympian Shawn Johnson East shares nine of her must-have baby products

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Shawn Johnson East is not only an Olympic gold and silver ... Read more »

Coupling power and hydrogen sector pathways to benefit decarbonization

MIT-led team finds holistic optimization of electric power and hydrogen supply chain infrastructure is favorable for emission reductions and decreased infrastructure costs. Read more »

NIH awards hospital grant to study drugs including ivermectin

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded $1.7 million to a Texas hospital to research new treatments for COVID-19 patients. Despite the progress ... Read more »

Amazon workers in New York City are building toward a union vote

Amazon may soon face a second unionization effort in less than a year. Per The New York Times, hourly workers at the company’s JFK8 fulfillment center in New York City ... Read more »

Innovating delivery of financial services for Asian banks

MIT students collaborate with Hong Kong peers to propose fintech solutions during the MIT Entrepreneurship and Fintech Integrator. Read more »

40 great gift ideas for every type of brother

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Ah, brothers. On the one hand, your brother may be the ... Read more »

Thursday morning UK news briefing: Household mixing may be banned under Covid 'Plan C'

Christmas Covid boosters David Amess Sajid Javid said the Government would not implement “Plan B” measures such as mandatory masks, advice to work from home, and vaccine passports “at this ... Read more »

Razer's smart RGB face mask is now available for $100

It took the better part of a year, but Razer’s smart face mask is finally available. You can buy the Zephyr either by itself for $100 or a $150 Starter ... Read more »

Android 101: how to free up space on your phone

It can happen all too easily, especially if you’ve got an Android phone with less than 128GB of storage: one day, you try to install a cool new game or ... Read more »

Peter Egan and Ricky Gervais call for ban on charities fighting animal experiments to be ditched

Actor Peter Egan, vice-president of the RSPCA, is lobbying the government to scrap a ban on charities campaigning against animal experiments. He is backed by fellow actor Ricky Gervais in ... Read more »

Why no tusks? Poaching tips scales of elephant evolution

1 / 5Elephants Missing TusksThis undated photo provided by ElephantVoices in October 2021 shows tuskless elephant matriarch with her two calves in the Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. A hefty ... Read more »

Can GPs take industrial action and how might it affect patients?

Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA The British Medical Association’s GPs committee (GPC) has voted to reject an attempt by the health secretary, Sajid Javid, to force family doctors in England to see ... Read more »

GPs threaten industrial action over No10's 'name and shame' plan

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Doctors in England have threatened to take industrial action in protest against plans to strongarm them into seeing more patients face-to-face. Health Secretary ... Read more »

GeForce Now Is Live In Australia, If You Can't Afford To Upgrade That PC

It’s funny how the times change. When GeForce Now first launched, it was a service that fundamentally wasn’t designed to work in a territory like Australia. Today in 2021, when ... Read more »

7 essential Android 12 features to tap on day one

Google announced Android 12 all the way back in May 2021 and has since made beta versions of the software available while continuing to add new options and features to ... Read more »

‘Driverless' Tesla crash in Texas wasn't actually driverless, NTSB says

The driver and passenger seats were both occupied in a Tesla Model S that crashed into a tree outside of Houston on April 17th, killing both occupants, according to the ... Read more »

Female African elephants evolved toward being tuskless over just a few decades as poachers sought ivory

A tusked African elephant in South Africa’s Kruger National Park. Getty During the civil war in Mozambique, armies hunted African elephants to near extinction to collect ivory tusks. A study ... Read more »

T20 World Cup: Twitter adds livescorecard and other features for cricket fans in India

Twitter is among social networks where sports conversations happen, and in India, cricket fans roar big on the service. According to Twitter, between 1 July 2020-1 July 2021 there were ... Read more »

NASA wants to build nuclear space craft – What could go wrong?

NASA executives and experts struck an urgent tone with Congress earlier this week over discussions pertaining to the space agency’s nuclear budget. Oh, I’m sorry. Did I say NASA‘s nuclear ... Read more »

The best Nectar mattress sales and discounts in October 2021

The Nectar mattress sale is offering discounts on the brand’s popular memory foam models for all sleeping positions. The best deal in the US saves you up to $499 at ... Read more »

Box might finally make Mac cloud storage useful

After adding support for M1 Macs earlier this year, the cloud storage provider Box has announced that it has upgraded the Box desktop experience for macOS users. Using a browser ... Read more »

AMD fixes bug causing performance drops on Windows 11

© Windows Central AMD Ryzen 9 3900X AMD fixed a bug that causes performance drops on AMD chips running Windows 11. What you need to know AMD addressed a performance ... Read more »

Razer Book gains Quartz color option, now comes preloaded with Windows 11

Razer now offers one of the best Ultrabooks on the market in its popular Quartz pink. © Provided by Windows Central What you need to know The Razer Book is ... Read more »

Razer reveals a revamped Kraken headset lineup, complete with haptics

© Provided by Windows Central Razer has unleashed the Kraken. Krakens are multi-tentacled beasts of yore, armed to the teeth (or, well, beak) with an arsenal of ship-destroying tentacles and ... Read more »

Could tomorrow's smartphone screens be self-healing?

© stokpro / Getty Images In the future, there may be no need to replace your cell phone’s cracked screen, as it might be able to repair itself! Researchers in ... Read more »

Razer Enki X review: A $299 all-day gaming chair for the rest of us

© Provided by Windows Central Razer’s latest gaming chair puts the focus on your butt, and with a more affordable $299 starting price, it’s well worth the investment. Last year, ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic