Letters, calls and emails: Out-of-hours plan will lead to dirty premises

Dear Editor

I don't think anybody should be saying that we'll open out of hours if paid to.

Out-of-hours opening for the walking well amounts to junk-medicine. I know; I was subjected to it between 1979 and 2004. It places genuine patients, like Penny Campbell, who died after talking to eight doctors out of hours, in greater danger (GP, 1 June).

There is already too much access for non-urgent cases. The NHS is swamped with minor illness (most of which requires no treatment), and the situation was even worse when only the patient's own GP was forced to do all the work.

Politicians have already increased the incidence of MRSA and C difficile in hospitals because of inadequate cleaning and overuse of too few beds.

Do they want to impose the same health-and-safety risks on GPs?

GP surgeries are being cleaned in the evenings after daytime use. And the cleaning done on Friday evenings for a couple of hours has to last until Monday morning, so anybody with any clinical sense at all (that rules out politicians who only think about money and exploitation) would say that rules out having patients in the premises before Monday too.

It is simply bad practice in the real world, as distinct from the media myth of Dr Findlay, to ignore health-and-safety best practice, and that applies to working hours too.

Dr Paul Searle, Eaton Socon, Cambridgeshire.

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