29 May 2008

The worm is turning

When it comes to things that matter to them our patients are remarkably politically astute. There are people who believe propaganda but many don't. The widespread criticisms of doctors that the government has managed to spin onto the front pages of our newspapers cuts no ice with the public. The public has a lot of contact with doctors - mostly face to face. People believe what they see for themselves and not what they are told. GPs are seeing this daily in their surgeries. Dr Grumble has seen it in his hospital.

Here is a quote pasted in from dnuk, a forum just for doctors. It's pasted in exactly as it was posted:

i have had 4 patients ask me this morning where i will be going if the new private clinics make this practice unviable.I (whilst as per GMC) cannot comment on politics during a consultation I have advised them of my back up plans of working broad.The patients are scared. the most vulnerable are the most scared.they know HMG is untruthful when they say local clinicians are involed in the polyclinic plans. we are not.the NHS is failing as a result of new labour, ready to be privatised and dumbed down.the long term ill, the elderly and the poor will fare worst and their right to a doctor (not a nurse) and continuity will be diminished.a sad dogma from a failing prime minister

Of course Dr Grumble and many others have been saying all this for some time. But it seemed that nobody was listening. But the patients obviously don't need to be told. They can see what is happening. This could be very damaging for the government. Some people are very dependent on their health care. It's hard to understand how the powers-that-be could have got things so very wrong. Perhaps listening would have helped.


Russell Brown said...

Dr Grumble, please tell patients, friends, family and colleagues about this campaign the BMA are running. A peetition needs to be signed by 6th June.


Some may argue too little too late, but on the other hand, better late than never.

And if anyone doubts or is unconvinced and asks what the concern we have actually is, here's another quote from DNUK for you (which I posted in response to a hospital colleague whose lawyer brother was asking for clarification):

"Assuming your brother is the lawyer who needs convincing:

When he is elderly and has multiple diseases which need an holistic overview to ensure he receives the best care for him personally, he won't get it if these plans come to fruition. What he will get is a series of "Health care professionals" who will on the whole not be medically trained or, if they are medically trained, will not necessarily be a primary care physician. Consequently he is likely to end up seeing a different person everytime he has to visit with no-one taking overall responsibility for the care he is receiving."

Please, ask as many people as possible to sign.

It may make no difference. But at least we will be able to say we told them they were wrong to do this.

Elaine said...

The only difficulty I have with all this is that I am registered with a GP surgery (not a GP), so at least when I see a GP - or another HCP - my notes are available, but -

every time I visit my GP practioe I seem to see a different doctor. They pride themselves on keeping good notes, but -

I have multiple medical problems, but I wonder how much worse off I would be with a polyclinic than a group practice.

On the other hand, at my last GP practice, I had continuity of care with one GP.

I think this is an issue that GP practices need to address if they want to defeat plyclinics (and I view them with terror.)

Dr Grumble said...

That, Elaine, is a very good point. All the studies seem to show that whether they are visiting the hospital or the GP, patients like to see the same doctor. This is not just about good records as you say.