So in Worthing, the GP surgeries are to be open at the weekend to ease the pressure on A and E. Coastal West Sussex CGQ asked GPs to respond so that ambulances are freed up for more urgent cases.
But oh dear, the patients will only be seen when they are referred by the 111 service. Well, all I can say is the best of luck after my experience at Christmas.
Surely what we need is open access, walk in GP centres within easy reach of all. This would save the pressure on A and E and leave it available for road accident cases, heart attacks and urgent cases.
We have an NHS to be proud of but it is only available 9-5 on weekdays locally. This is just not good enough. We have the doctors, we have nurses and many who are not practising at the moment but who would welcome working hours over the weekend. Surely a triage nurse in every GP centre could see people who might not need to go to A and E.
There are so many options and our politicians and the medical profession do not seem to be doing anything about it.
As for the 111 service. The staff are not medically trained and ask unnecessary questions from a prescribed script which does not work for everyone as you can see from my previous post on dimindmatters.wordpress.com. On three or four calls in one afternoon I had to repeat all my information and contact details, name of GP and myriad other questions which had been asked before. When I challenged the operator about this she said they have to ask again as it is treated as a new call even though they call up the logged information from previous calls. How crazy is that?
Let’s have some common sense. There has to be the money for this as it can be found from the savings in the overstretched A and E. It could also be saved by abolishing the 111 service and letting people attend their local GP practice and see a nurse instead.