From the retired perspective, I now see general Practice more from the outside than in, principally as a patient.
I have seen great variances in the promptness and quality of services offered. I have met with complications and delays caused by the Electronic Prescription Service. When it works it’s wonderful but does it go to the chosen pharmacy and if it does is that pharmacy well stocked.
I have had the unfortunate need to use hospital services and have been knarked to see huge numbers of ambulances idle outside a major hospital yet I paid an enormous sum to park my car in the multi-storey car park.
Having said that I have been impressed at the promptness I have been seen at an out-patient appointment even in one occasion almost an hour early. The consultants were information, thorough and did not rush. There are good experiences in the NHS even though you are ill.
I have both experienced long delays for a GP appointment and very prompt consultations – again I was made to feel that I had not wasted anyone’s time and a prompt referral was made.
I also have to comment that some NHS services can be lacking – Physiotherapy in general Practice can be left wanting offering patients instruction sheets to read and exercises to do rather than hands on effective treatment. Private physios working either in the NHS or independently can be relied on for a much better service.
So what can we expect in 2017, fewer GPs, linger waits to see a GP and to see a consultant. Longer distances to travel for out of hours care and hospital services. What about more charges not just the hospital car park. Buy your own routine medicines over the counter. Do it yourself consultations using the NHS Choices web site or any reputable site. The only thing is that your symptoms might match both the most serious and least serious medical events in your life and have you paid into that funeral plan.
A happy and and healthy new year to one and all.