One GP’s ‘survey’ is not enough to generate a perfect storm or a tsunami

In the Herald today:

GPS have warned that surgeries are facing a “perfect storm” as patients who are seeking pandemic-delayed appointments, flu vaccinations and mental health issues combine to drive a surge in consultations. One doctor said his practice in Glasgow’s south side had experienced an almost 70 per cent rise in patient numbers and that he had serious concerns the pattern would continue into winter.

GPs is repeated several times but only one actually features, Dr John Montgomery of the David Elder Medical Practice in Glasgow. Dr Montgomery has done a survey of the demand for appointments.

I see no sign of evidence, in the Herald report, for either a ‘perfect storm‘ or large numbers claiming they’ll ‘be pushed to breaking point.

Here’s some evidence about the situation facing GPs in Scotland:

Scotland seems to have more GPs per head than any other part of the UK. If we’ll be having a perfect storm what must they face?

And, based on a Scottish survey published in July 2019, we can see that while overall levels of satisfaction with the quality of the service offered by GPs did not differ significantly, it is in the ease of access that the Scottish system seems to be performing much better:

11 thoughts on “One GP’s ‘survey’ is not enough to generate a perfect storm or a tsunami

  1. This is just part of the long disinformation campaign by the British Nationalist media about health and education in Scotland, which have been deemed to be the ‘battleground’, by Good Morning Scotland, when Mr Douglas Ross was appointed. GMS convened a meeting on air to discuss what his strategy ought to be. Also, one of Dominic Cummings’ lieutenants was attached to the Scottish Tories to organise the strategy. Mr Oliver Mundell declaring that the FM had ‘lied; smelled to me of part of the nasty strategy.) Day after day of stories indicating /’manufacturing’) bad things has an effect on perceptions. Many doctors and GPs come from affluent backgrounds, and attended private schools and a fair number of them are Conservatives. If you have ONE who shoots her mouth off about the QEUH not having staff actively directing people to the hand sanitising (not her specialism) and who has dinner parties with a BBC presenter, then such stories get wide coverage, even though they do not represent the views of the specialist infection control staff at the QEUH.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Many face to face consultations could be done either by phone or,God forbid,video link.
    Both the legal and medical professions have been traditionally very conservative in the use of technology and changes to working practices.
    We are still using bits of paper for prescription ordering when,especially in the case of repeat requests,could
    and should be an automated process.
    This health crisis and enforced isolation will hopefully move thing along.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have already had non face-to-face consultations and have used the repeat prescription procedure. It is not just some in the medical profession who are slow to adopt changes!

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Our practice is doing only telephone consultations, initially. Prescriptions are sent via email to chemist and we pick up from there, no paper needed.
      One gripe is that follow up on symptoms, and also usual yearly health and asthma checks etc have gone by the way side. A simple Q & A re that could be done on the phone at least. There is info on flu jab on the website, but not much use for people with learning difficulties, a text or call would be much better.
      So some sensible stuff, some seems a bit lacking. GP’s and health staff I am sure are very busy, but a simple system of reminding vulnerable people about flu jab etc would be a good idea.


    3. We sent in via email, a photo of sons ear when it was giving him jip, all worked out fine! It was quite weird doing that though, but sensible, no need for face to face for minor issues.


  3. Throughout the lockdown my husband and I have been able to order our repeat prescriptions online. I get mine every two months.

    In August I was due to get blood tests which are done every six months. Phoned got an appointment, blood samples taken. Phoned back a few days later for the results which had been checked by one of the practice GPs.

    In the past month our GP has phoned first my husband and a week later me – our regular review which takes place every 6 months.

    The GPs in our medical practice are also helping to man the local Covid-19 hub. There are 50 such hubs in Scotland which were set up so that people with suspected Covid-19 symptoms did not have to go near their local GP practice. GP medical practices have a statement on their web sites telling people what to do and who to contact if they suspect they have Covid-19.

    Also during the past month I have been contacted by the Cardiology dept at the local hospital and given an appointment for an echocardiogram. My husband has also had his one year post-op check up at Surgical OPD clinic.

    NHS Scotland and GP practices are open for business although the need to take precautions may slow that down a bit it is functioning and the way they do that business especially GPs may have changed

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Almost identical with my own experience. I am diabetic and have had my regular reviews, albeit with a bit of variation during the early stages (the practice nurse’s son had shown symptoms and she had to isolate!). But, prescriptions for my wife and myself available at the pharmacy as required.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a close relative who may have a serious condition. Within six days he has been seen by four medical professionals. had an appointment confirmed for a covid test, and given a date to attend a nearby hospital for further examination. If this example is typical, then the S.N.H.S is coping admirably.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I have no problem with my GPs practice phone consultation if Doctor needs to see you get appointment,sorted.

    O/T 50 years ago.
    Worth a read and where has all the money gone Wood has done ok but not Scotland.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I say ‘bollocks’ (that’s colloquial British, i.e. English, English, as a noun to mean “nonsense”). For us, last week, we were booked in, five minutes apart, for our jabs, as was every person in the village who fitted the criteria. Job Done. No storms involved.

    Liked by 1 person

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