GPs 'insulted' by NHS push for more face-to-face appointments, doctor says

14 September 2020, 16:29

Shelagh Fogarty speaks to GP on face-to-face appointments

By Seán Hickey

This GP insisted surgeries have been open for face to face appointments throughout the pandemic, despite the NHS implying that they haven't been.

Dr Louise Irvine is an NHS GP in London. She told Shelagh Fogarty that GPs feel "pretty insulted" after a push from the NHS to get face to face appointments up and running in surgeries.

"The vast majority of GP practices have carried on doing face to face appointments," Dr Irvine revealed, as well as conducting remote appointments through the pandemic.

The London GP went on to note that "there have been around 300,000 face to face appointments a day with a GP over the last month."

She told Shelagh it was disappointing "to be told by NHS England how to do our job when we're actually already doing it."

Matt Hancock encouraged GPs to do remote Matt Hancock was encouraging GPs to do remote consultations up until recently, Shelagh Fogarty noted recently, Shelagh Fogarty noted
Matt Hancock was encouraging GPs to do remote consultations up until recently, Shelagh Fogarty noted. Picture: LBC

Dr Irvine added, "Practices have really bent over backwards to adjust to that new way of working."

Shelagh observed that this is "evidence that the Government's messaging has been rather mixed and confused from time to time."

She told Dr Irvine that about a month ago, Matt Hancock was telling GPs that "remote appointments are the way to go."

However the GP revealed Mr Hancock's line to local surgeries was that "you should only do face to face if absolutely necessary."

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