Dr Hilary Jones has urged for more help to be given to GPs as he fears that serious illnesses among members of the public will be missed without face-to-face consultations.
On Friday’s edition of Lorraine, Lorraine Kelly spoke to Dr Hilary about concerns surrounding patients being unable to have in-person consultations with doctors at their local GP surgeries.
Earlier this month, it emerged that nearly 1,000 GP practices had been ordered to reinstate face-to-face appointments, with the number of in-person consultations decreasing during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking on Lorraine, Dr Hilary said that in his view, he doesn’t ‘fully understand why we’ve got such a problem’ with in-person consultations.
‘Before Covid, 80% of consultations were done face to face. It’s more personal, it’s more accurate, because if somebody needs to be examined, they need to be examined,’ he said.
Dr Hilary pointed out that 1.5m people don’t have access to online consultations, which makes received medical help that much harder if they can’t see a doctor in person.
‘In some areas, it’s only 45% of consultations being done face to face, and that isn’t good enough. We’re going to miss people with serious illness if we carry on like that,’ he said.
The doctor stressed that ‘of course we need more doctors, and it will take time to train more up’.
‘The government promised 6,000 more, and we haven’t got those. In fact, we’re probably losing more GPs than we are recruiting them. So that needs to change dramatically,’ he said.
Dr Hilary said that while GPs need to receive more help, they also ‘need to open their surgeries’.
‘There’s an argument for saying in a pandemic, we need doctors to see more patients, not less, because that’s what doctors do. They look after people that are unwell, whether it’s infection or not,’ he said.
‘We’ve got PPE, we’ve got the ability to see patients, we should be doing more. And GPs need more support as well.’
Health Secretary Sajid Javid recently said that while online and phone consultations are convenient for some, they ‘are not right for everyone’.
According to the British Medical Association, which has been monitoring data on the GP workforce, the number of patients per practice is 22% higher than it was six years ago.
Lorraine airs weekdays at 9am on ITV.
Credit: Original article published here.