SIR – GPs have not been “missing in action”, as J Meirion Thomas claims (Comment, May 15). Rather, they switched to a mandatory total triage model in March 2020 to protect patients from catching Ccovid in the waiting room.
GPs have continued to see patients when necessary, but many issues do not require a face-to-face consultation. Taking a good history and knowing your patients help to provide continuity of care. We already have teams of allied professionals working to do this, either remotely or in person, and the polyclinics you advocate would move further away from these relationships.
We can agree that general practice is broken. This is due to chronic underfunding of a service that provides 90 per cent of NHS contacts for about 9 per cent of the budget. The current system allows most patients to access their GP within one or two days, compared to waiting weeks pre-pandemic.
GPs are human; we are trying our best with limited resources, while dealing with more patients than ever before, as well as delivering 75 per cent of Covid vaccinations. Why not come and spend a day in general practice to see the demands for yourself.Dr Rosie Shire – GP, Doctors’ Association UK
The full letter can be read here.