“So we said what is this reorganisation about? …and it’s quite clear that the main reason for this reorganisation is to create a market in the NHS in England. One of the effects of having a market in healthcare and GPs at the centre of that market is that the relationship between patients and their GP is at risk. Because the NHS is there to provide care for all of us when we need it there’s no doubt that when you see your GP if you are in need you have a discussion about how that healthcare need can be met and if the GP suggests referral to the local hospital or a specialist hospital then patients will accept the word of their GP and take their advice.
Things will change because as the NHS provides less, GP’s will be less able to offer you referral for your health problems. They will be under pressure from their GP consortia to keep a lid on the need to refer patients to hospital because GPs will be responsible for keeping within budget in the NHS.
Also a lot of GPs are going to be involved with the private companies that are going to be encouraged to provide services to the NHS, and it could be that you’re sat with a GP who is a member of the consortia committee who also runs a private hospital or has an involvement with other private services and you will never quite know whether what the GP is suggesting is in your interest, is it in the interests of the GP consortia, or is in the personal interest of the GP and their relationship to a private company.
This fundamentally undermines and changes the way in which patients relate to their GP and the high trust with which most GPs are held by the public”
Dr Ron Singer, retired GP of 30 years (3.20-5.24mins)
I personally find it difficult to believe we’ll have GPs side stepping their duties in the pursuit of profits but I’m not sure that’s going to make much difference to a patient who is struggling to stay healthy and is trying to understand a NHS that has already widely consigned patient information to be “someone else’s job” and is staffed by individuals who are still very uncertain about how the reforms will be implemented.
Here’s a few things I think we’re going to see a lot more demand for in the UK primary healthcare market:
> Burly private sector security staff and laminated notices detailing what action staff will take in the event of verbal abuse or aggression.
> Documented consultations (GP’s will be under much more pressure to help patients appreciate exactly how good they are).
> Low cost ways to get second opinions from completely independent registered Doctors.
> Continued year-on-year rises in the number of complaints about Doctors to the GMC: