Letters, calls and emails: Time of the ten-mintue consultation is at an end

Dear Editor

All GPs are living and working in an age of extreme scrutiny by the media, and terms such as ‘fat-cat GPs’, ‘rogue doctors’, ‘patient safety’, ‘patient lives not GP livelihoods’ abound.

These are not bad in themselves but we must be judged on a level playing field.

Every GP must have the time and facilities for a careful history, a careful examination, a careful explanation to the patient and above all to engage the patient in his own care and plan the deal every doctor makes with every patient after every consultation. If we have the time to do this we will have happy patients and good doctors.

Its time the10-minute consultation was consigned to the bin of history; patients and doctors deserve better. To stay as we are is dangerous.

The government can’t have it both ways. Good medicine needs time with the patient, and 10 minutes is a joke.

We accepted it in another age that will not come back again.

We set the time and the date and from that day we only see patients with the time to do the job properly.

Mistakes are no longer a disaster for patients, but they will be in future be a disaster for doctors.

Let’s stop talking about quality frameworks, pensions and global sums, and let’s show the world and our patients that quality is what we care about.

I think if we do this, we will earn the respect of our patients and our hospital colleagues.

The 10-minute consultation is a disgrace; let us demand its burial.

Dr David Hogg
Devizes, Wiltshire

 

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