The old-style family GP, who knows the patients, with all their history and trust built up over years, cannot be available 12 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you want a generalist medic who is capable of managing risk because it is cheaper than hospital-based, risk-averse care, the fundamental way in which care is accessed will have to change.
The public needs to be educated about where it is best to get advice and where it is inappropriate in a tax-funded system.
A&Es only want to see accidents and emergencies that they decide warrant seeing, rather than what patients perceive their problem to be. Patients only know two places to access care, the GP practice or A&E, and we need to commission only that for urgent care, and staff both appropriately.
Passing the baton of blame has gone on since the start of the NHS and will only stop when the system works as one organisation, not the disparate conglomerate of competing organisations.
- Dr Joe McGilligan, Redhill, Surrey, via GPonline.