Watchdog backs GPs over access

The Healthcare Commission wrote to the Daily Telegraph last week to complain that it inaccurately exaggerated GP access problems.

The newspaper had reported that two-thirds of patients would not book an appointment with their GP within 48 hours. 'Millions of people are being failed by their surgeries,' it said.

But Sir Ian Kennedy, the watchdog's chairman, wrote to the paper to clarify that 'our assessment does not show that two-thirds of patients cannot access a GP within 48 hours.'

Two-thirds of PCTs have practices that do not meet the target, he explained. But the problem affects only 13 per cent of patients overall.

The Healthcare Commission's 'NHS health check' for 2007/8 found there had been a steady improvement in both clinical and financial performance in most NHS trusts.

While it highlighted a 'dramatic decline' in the number of PCTs meeting a target for access to a GP from 80 per cent in 2006/7 to 31 per cent in 2007/8, it said the disparity was partly due to a change in its methodology.

jonn.elledge@haymarket.com

Comment below and tell us what you think

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

Slight increase in GP workforce in past year, but number of partners continues to fall

Slight increase in GP workforce in past year, but number of partners continues to fall

The GP workforce grew by 0.4% in the year to March 2021, but the number of GP partners...

Viewpoint: Patients and GPs are unhappy with access to general practice, what's the solution?

Viewpoint: Patients and GPs are unhappy with access to general practice, what's the solution?

Practices are deluged with work, yet many people still think they are ‘closed’. The...

Start date for COVID-19 booster campaign unclear, vaccines minister admits

Start date for COVID-19 booster campaign unclear, vaccines minister admits

A UK COVID-19 booster campaign could start from September - but could also remain...

BMA demands 'systemic change' after LMC report exposes racism in primary care

BMA demands 'systemic change' after LMC report exposes racism in primary care

Most black, Asian and minority ethnic primary care staff have experienced racism...

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

Loss of appetite - red flag symptoms

Loss of appetite - red flag symptoms

Red flag symptoms in patients with loss of appetite and the importance of taking...