Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


GPs warn Therese Coffey's rescue plan will have 'MINIMAL impact'

GP practices won't be penalized if they don't offer patients an appointment within two weeks, Therese Coffey has admitted

GP practices won’t be penalized if they don’t offer patients an appointment within two weeks, Therese Coffey has admitted.

The newly appointed health secretary said two weeks was “an expectation” rather than a firm target.

During a round of interviews this morning, Ms Coffey added she did not want “to be overly dictated by Whitehall on how a GP will run his practice”.

The comments come despite reports last night that ministers could name and shame the worst-performing operations in rankings.

Ms Coffey is set to unveil plans to improve access to GPs this afternoon as public satisfaction with GPs is at an all-time low.

These include requiring GPs to offer same-day appointments for the sickest patients and a maximum waiting time of two weeks for non-urgent patients.

But there will be skepticism as to whether the plans are enforceable or go far enough to actually make a difference.

Ms Coffey’s plan also includes new phone systems to make reception easier and to keep callers informed of their place in the queue.

The changes aim to make it easier to find an 8am appointment and end the frustration of constant busy signals or getting stuck on the line.

There are reports of patients ringing the bell over 60 times before finally getting through.

GP practices won't be penalized if they don't offer patients an appointment within two weeks, Therese Coffey has admitted

GP practices won’t be penalized if they don’t offer patients an appointment within two weeks, Therese Coffey has admitted

Ms Coffey told Times Radio the government wants “GPs to see very urgent cases on the same day where possible” and there are “huge disparities” across the country.

She said she didn’t want to be prescribing from Whitehall, of course not, the relationship between doctors and their patients is important but one of the things we can do, particularly by working with the local NHS, the Integrated Care Boards, is , to ensure we share best practices and then focus on the practices that may be struggling to meet the expectations I set out on behalf of patients.

Ms Coffey said: “It’s obviously going to be up to the clinicians, the doctors doing that triage, who they see on the same day and their prioritisation.

“I think it’s fair that when patients call they aren’t told they might have to wait six weeks for appointments and then we see other people reaching out to parts of the NHS like A&E.”

On the need for more GPs, she said: “Obviously we want more GPs, more clinicians, it’s all part of our longer term plan that’s already been set.

ALSO READ:  Booster vaccine chaos begins: Last-minute scramble to find army of volunteers to deliver jabs

“What I’m doing at the moment is really focused on ABCD – the ambulances, the backlog, the care, the doctors and dentists – but I’m very aware that almost everyone who accesses the NHS does so through primary care theirs GP and that’s why I make it so important that I try to help patients get what they want from GPs and help GPs deliver that too.’

She was asked on LBC radio if her pledges meant patients should see a GP face-to-face or if a phone or video consultation would suffice.

“I think that’s open to the relationship between the GP and the patient,” she said.

“I know that during the pandemic there have been different ways that people have interacted with visiting their GP. I will not be overly prescriptive.

“I know that some people just like to talk on the phone, but may need to go to the doctor. I know that other patients are very interested in this regard.”

She said more than half of the practices are already meeting the expectations she had set, but she “didn’t intend to take a league-table approach.”

When asked if GPs who underperformed would face penalties, she said: “Dare I say it… one of the points about the practice opening up and releasing data is that it could give some patients the opportunity to to choose another GP and make that change.’

Ms Coffey was asked on ITV’s Good Morning Britain what she plans to do about 130,000 job offers across the NHS.

She said patients are her “top priority and I will be her advocate.”

Ms Coffey added: “So I expect that when people call to get an appointment, obviously some people will need to be seen on the same day and that’s what the clinicians will decide, but I think it’s a reasonable expectation that they’ll be in should be able to see their GP within a fortnight’.

She said funding would be released so different types of staff could be hired and funded, such as: pharmacists, and this would allow GPs to ‘open their appointments’.

When asked about social care and easing the problem of bed blocking in the NHS, Ms Coffey said work was being done, adding there were thousands of people “in hospitals who don’t need that clinical attention and who would be better cared for outside of it”. a hospital’.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like


James Argent shared a passionate kiss with his movie star girlfriend Stella Turian as the duo stepped out in Marbella on Saturday. The former...


A Canadian high school has suggested it would be illegal to criticize and stop a trans teacher from wearing giant prosthetic breasts in class....


A harrowing video of the moment a young woman was hit by a roller coaster and left with horrific injuries has been shared online...


The 19-year-old heir to the seafood empire is on trial for multiple child abuse and exploitation charges Marcus Cappo, 19, faced multiple charges in...