Booking plan will erode relationship with patients, say GPs

GPs have expressed outrage at plans to make practice staff redundant and set up call centres to handle appointments.

Dr Chaudhury: booking call centre would be similar to that of banks (Photograph: Pete Hill)
Dr Chaudhury: booking call centre would be similar to that of banks (Photograph: Pete Hill)

Bristol GP Dr Tom Frewin called the idea 'absolutely ludicrous'. 'Someone in London should be shot for allowing this out,' he said. 'It's rubbish.'

West Midlands GP Dr Charles Broomhead said he could not imagine anyone thinking this was a good idea.

'Each practice is so complex and so individual that it's almost a cottage industry. All the local sensitivity would be lost,' he warned.

Nottingham GP Dr Jonathan Harte said call centres would be the first step towards an entirely salaried GP service.

'We are small businesses and we need control over the staff.

If they're going to take that away, it won't work,' he said.

Dr Saheli Chaudhury, a GP in York, likened it to banks moving to a call centre system. 'It eroded my relationship with the bank when mine did that.

A general practice is a community and this would erode that,' she said.

'Sometimes even a scrip request means we may have to talk to the patient.'

Derbyshire GP Dr John Grenville said the idea made no sense since practices would still need receptionists in core hours. 'There needs to be someone there to let patients in to the see doctors,' he said.

He said the idea assumed receptionists did nothing but answer calls, which was untrue.

They also deal with requests for repeat prescriptions, certificates and forms, incoming post and other administrative tasks, he said. 'They should look at making more appointments online.'

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Shielded patients and care home residents to receive free vitamin D

Shielded patients and care home residents to receive free vitamin D

Patients on the shielding list and care homes are to be provided with free vitamin...

LMCs demand renegotiation of COVID-19 enhanced service deal

LMCs demand renegotiation of COVID-19 enhanced service deal

LMCs have called for a renegotiation of funding for the COVID-19 vaccination enhanced...

LMCs demand ballot of profession on PCN DES ahead of next contract talks

LMCs demand ballot of profession on PCN DES ahead of next contract talks

LMCs have demanded a ballot of GPs on the primary care network (PCN) DES before BMA...

Lack of support left locums at physical and financial risk in pandemic, say LMCs

Lack of support left locums at physical and financial risk in pandemic, say LMCs

Locum GPs have faced significant physical and financial risk because of a lack of...

LMCs demand NHS England apology over ‘abhorrent' claims about general practice

LMCs demand NHS England apology over ‘abhorrent' claims about general practice

LMCs have called on NHS England to apologise for ‘abhorrent and insulting’ suggestions...

CCGs to be stripped of commissioning role under reforms backed by NHS England

CCGs to be stripped of commissioning role under reforms backed by NHS England

CCGs could be stripped of their commissioning role under plans set out by NHS England,...