Mumsnet users launch passionate defence of GPs

By Nick Bostock, 22 February 2013

Users of the Mumsnet website launched an impassioned defence of general practice after a journalist suggested GPs were 'reluctant to treat children'.

Mumsnet: users defended GPs after journalist's query

Mumsnet: users defended GPs after journalist's query

Mums wrote hundreds of responses backing GPs after journalist Zoe Brennan used the website to ask for comments on a feature she was writing for the Daily Mail.

The defence of GPs came as data from a poll of more than 1,000 British adults showed doctors were the nation's most trusted profession.

Ms Brennan wrote: ‘Figures released earlier this week show an increasing number of youngsters are sent direct to hospital, because GPs are reluctant to treat children.

‘Babies in particular. This means long waits, and inappropriate care. Has your child been sent to A&E with a common infection or minor injury by your GP or NHS Direct?’

Mumsnet users were quick to accuse her of writing ‘another NHS bashing article’.

One user wrote: You can't be too careful with a child's health, and if you're a doctor and you are unsure then you should send them to someone who is more used to dealing with children.

‘How many lives have GPs saved by sending babies to A&E because they aren't sure what to do?’

Another wrote: ‘My GPs provide a fantastic service.’

Many posted comments about their own positive experiences with care provided by GPs.

A GP wrote on the website: 'I can't speak for all GPs, but can safely say that I am not reluctant to treat babies or children (quite the opposite).’

Another comment read: ‘Do your parents know you work for the Daily Mail?’

GPC member Dr John Canning told GP: ‘I feel for the journalist to a degree, she was doing her job. Part of me felt sorry for her, but not for long.

‘It’s reassuring to see patients defend GPs. It reinforces what I see from contact with patients, in my experience day in, day out seeing people with sick children.

‘We are cautious sending people to hospital and it can turn out there’s nothing wrong. There will always be some false positives.

‘Doctors may not all have a high standing with the public, but GPs have a long-term relationship with patients and we will work to maintain that.’

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