Patients should always be able to see the same GP | UK | News

November 30, 2023
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Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK said: “Whenever we ask older people what would make life better for them, their desire to have easier access to their GP surgery is almost always near or at the top of their list.

“There’s no doubt that many are finding it hugely frustrating trying to navigate clunky, sometimes bureaucratic online and telephone systems that can feel like they are designed more to fend them off.”

Ms Abrahams said almost half of over 65s were not online or only had basic skills. She added: “Sometimes only a face-to-face conversation with a doctor, in real time, will do.”

Dennis Reed, director of Silver Voices, also raised concerns about patients being “fobbed off to other practice staff without seeing a doctor”.

He added: “Unless it is a repeat visit for the same condition, the patient should always be seen by a doctor first, and then referred to the appropriate member of staff.

“Older people are much more likely to be misdiagnosed through remote appointments with doctors, or initial appointments with other staff, because they will often suffer from multiple conditions which may not be immediately obvious.

“This study is a small tip of a very large iceberg unfortunately, and many more tragic cases will emerge unless urgent action is taken to improve direct access to GPs.”

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK said: “Whenever we ask older people what would make life better for them, their desire to have easier access to their GP surgery is almost always near or at the top of their list.
“There’s no doubt that many are finding it hugely frustrating trying to navigate clunky, sometimes bureaucratic online and telephone systems that can feel like they are designed more to fend them off.”
Ms Abrahams said almost half of over 65s were not online or only had basic skills.
She added: “Sometimes only a face-to-face conversation with a doctor, in real time, will do.”
Dennis Reed, director of Silver Voices, also raised concerns about patients being “fobbed off to other practice staff without seeing a doctor”.
He added: “Unless it is a repeat visit for the same condition, the patient should always be seen by a doctor first, and then referred to the appropriate member of staff.
“Older people are much more likely to be misdiagnosed through remote appointments with doctors, or initial appointments with other staff, because they will often suffer from multiple conditions which may not be immediately obvious.
“This study is a small tip of a very large iceberg unfortunately, and many more tragic cases will emerge unless urgent action is taken to improve direct access to GPs



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