02 September 2008

GPs frozen out

Who do you think might be suitable to run a polyclinic? Lord Darzi? Perhaps not. He's a surgeon, he's an academic, he's a politician and he's a GOAT. He's probably not the best sort of doctor to run a polyclinic. So who would be a good sort of doctor to run a polyclinic? What sort of doctor really knows about primary care? Do you think a GP might be quite well suited to the task? Probably. So how do you think GPs are doing in the bidding war for polyclinics? How do you think the PCTs have responded to their bids? You can find the answer here. Apparently GPs are 'not qualified' to run primary care. How mad is that? These NHS bodies seem intent on ensuring that the polyclinics are going to turn out to be Hollyclinics.

Dr Grumble is not surprised. It's what he expected. But where is the policy that ensures that the PCTs leave GPs out in the cold? And why does our government want to do this? Why? It baffles Dr Grumble, it really does.


paul said...

Perhaps you can have a look next year or the year after and pop a post back so we know.

Dr Grumble said...

Dr G is a bit wary about time travel at the moment. At the weekend he went quite a long way into the future but when he returned he found he was still a day ahead which is why the posts were a bit out.

The Shrink said...

This is a topic that's been concerning me also.

GPs do a great job in Primary Care, polyclinics do a different job, and eschew continuity of care for (notionally) better accessibility and convenience.

An unacceptably harsh sacrifice to make, to my mind. If GPs aren't going to be the ones undertaking care, a polyclinics alredy very modest clinical utility is fast evaporating.

Dr Grumble said...

Quite right, Shrink. GPs do a great job. And they are cheap. They know that. Hospital doctors know that. Patients know that. Only the government and a few disgruntled individuals have failed to grasp this.

Continuity of care is greatly valued by patients. For the reasons that you have pointed out (and others) it is important and valued by doctors. For most clinical problems in the community an experienced doctor located close to the patient is what you need not loads of fancy scanners.

If Virgin structure it so that they get paid for each investigation they do, more tests will be done, more fancy scanners will be built, more money will be spent, and more money will be wasted.

Doctors will not be listened to on this. Fortunately patients seem to feel very strongly about their GPs and when they realise what is happening may force a stop.

Unlike the public, Dr Grumble would be quite prepared to support closure of certain hospitals (including his own) if that was appropriate but the wholesale destruction of general practice is stark staring mad.

Ours is not a government that listens and common sense is not one of its attributes.