Health ministers have warned that the health service is moving towards an “uberisation” of GP services, with patients being forced to see a different doctor every time they visit their local surgery.
Ministers warned of a crisis in the sector. In particular, highlighting the important role GPs play in terms of spotting cancers and how this appears to be impeded when there is less continuity of care. For example, a Norway study from 2021 which found that there was a 30% less chance of a patient going to hospital and a 25% less chance of a patient dying if they had the same GP over a long period of time.
A poll released from 1,395 GPs which had a staggering finding that nearly nine in ten GPs fear patients are not always safe at their surgeries. Ultimately, the GPs themselves believe that it is “safer to make a diagnosis if you know a patient’s context, you know their family, their social situation. You’re more likely to see those red flags when you should.”
Health experts highlighted that more is being invested in the health service workforce than ever before in history, and this includes having more doctors in training at medical school than any other time in history. However, the opinion does seem to suggest that the policy in relation to how people are seen by their GPs needs to be very carefully considered to ensure patient safety.
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