Britain’s top GP claims there’s no need to offer many more face-to-face appointments as the current rate is ‘about right’.
About 80 percent of GP appointments were in person before the pandemic, but this dropped to just 47 percent in April 2020 after Covid hit.
And the latest numbers show that just under 65 percent were held face-to-face at the end of May this year.
But Professor Martin Marshall, president of the Royal College of GPs, admitted that remote consultations aren’t as appropriate for the elderly.
Britain’s top GP claims there’s no need to offer many more face-to-face appointments as the current rate is ‘about right’ (stock image)
About 80 percent of GP appointments were in person before the pandemic, but this fell to just 47 percent in April 2020 after Covid hit (stock image)
Consultant vacancies not filled
Last year, a record number of consultant physician vacancies went unfilled, the highest number since registration began in 2008.
More than half – 52 percent – of the job openings did not find a suitable match, up from 48 percent in 2020.
Almost three quarters of the available positions had no applications. The figures were based on a census of 4,200 doctors by the Royal College of Physicians.
The British Medical Association said young doctors leaving the profession and a spate of early retirements have led to s
He also spoke of the trend towards ‘mega surgeries’, telling the Sunday Telegraph that the days of a GP serving a community for decades are ‘long ago’.
The Daily Mail is campaigning to see more patients in person. On the rise of remote appointments, Professor Marshall said, “We’ll end up with a service that’s certainly more convenient when it’s remote, but not necessarily more productive.”
NHS England issued guidelines earlier this year that face-to-face appointments should be offered unless there is good clinical reason not to.
Nevertheless, the latest statistics show that almost a third of appointments are made by telephone or via online consultations.
Professor Marshall said patients in his East London practice are generally young and good with technology, but admitted that this is not the case in ‘older, more traditional communities’. With half of Britain’s minor operations closed in less than a decade, he said: “The days of Dr. Finlay, where you had one GP in a stable community for forty years, is long gone.’
He added last night: “It is likely that a shift to more remote care would have happened, but the pandemic has accelerated this.”
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Social Care said patients should be able to see their GP ‘any way they want’.