LETTER: Key questions for clinical groups

Very many years ago, at its inception, the NHS was organised along the lines of what the medical profession wanted.

Then the politicians took over and it became what the politicians wanted. Now it is in the process of becoming what the GPs want.

Well what do the GPs want? We can get a clue from the contract they negotiated with the Government in 2004 successfully reducing their working week to only being responsible for patients for the equivalent of office hours with nights and weekends free.

This is a huge change in the traditional model of the doctor/patient relationship which emphasised the importance of a continuous association, and has lasted from the days of Hippocrates [300BC].

This change precipitated a rush of patients, who would previously have been in the care of the practice, to A&E departments and this is still contributing to the pressure on hospitals.

The intention now is that more patients should be treated locally, presumably this includes those that could not be coped with previously, and in addition to also provide certain services at present only available in hospital.

This will mean a considerable increase in work and possibly manpower and it is not certain that there is the necessary goodwill or skills available for this scheme to succeed.

Perhaps the Clinical Commissioning Group would answer two simple questions.

Firstly how will the individual GP find the time, within office hours, to do all this extra work?

Secondly exactly what medical conditions, now treated in hospital, can we expect to be treated locally?

If this scheme fails it will be the turn of the experts: the medical profession in its entirety, together with the patients, to put the NHS back on the right lines.

JULIAN NEELY

North Parade, Horsham