Now this is stupid

Anyone wanting an appointment will first have to contact NHS Direct by dialling 111, which will be used as the new non-emergency medical number.

There are also concerns that it could erode the role of dedicated GP receptionists – many of whom build up a close rapport with their doctors\’ patients – with people having to deal with anonymous call centre staff with little medical experience instead. Unions believe thousands of receptionists could lose their jobs.

Call centre staff would then make their booking remotely, meaning patients would no longer speak to a GP receptionist directly.

Doctors behind the proposal believe it will make booking appointments easier, but patients\’ groups fear that many will find having to book through a call centre \”hugely frustrating\”.

The scheme is being tested by 20 practices in Surrey, and appears to have the backing of Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary.

Why centralise something at the same time as you\’re telling everyone that things should be decentralised?

Complete Twats.

And completely and entirely against what we know about how things actually work in the real world. Knowledge is local and simply cannot be centralised.

The GP\’s receptionist will know which patient is at death\’s door (quite literally) and who really does need someone to vamoose out there pronto with more heroin: who has called the surgery at 9.30 am every single damn day for the past decade, who has the little autistic boy, who is ill but never insists and so on. Who prefers to see \”their own\” doctor, who will see any female (or male) such, the list of what is known at the local level goes on and on.

In what cockweaseled version of the universe would anyone try to centralise such a service and thus lose all such knowledge?

And which moron of a Tory would do so while working to localise the rest of the damn health service at the same time?

Didn\’t take all that long but yes, this is finally something being suggested by the Coalition which is entirely and stupendously stupid.

12 thoughts on “Now this is stupid”

  1. It does seem like a stupid idea. However, given how “helpful” doctor’s receptionists have always been in Surrey, (for the past 30 years at any rate), I doubt this will make things any worse.

  2. Surely it should be up to the GP surgery to decide if they want such a system, and up to us to decide if we want that GP?

  3. If it’s pendantry we are into Mr. Bucket, I should point out I had a friend called Death (he wasn’t one of those who spelled it ‘de Ath’) and I regularly knocked on his door (well, rang the bell).

  4. I think you can now see that despite a change of government, centralist diktat is alive and well.

    Since the deaf, blind and arthritic and other sick will have difficulty getting an appointment via the call centre, its a sure way of making sure the figures will show were are getting healthier.

    Success and bonuses all round.

  5. Well it might mean people can get appointments instead of being fobbed off by some dragon of a receptionist who doesn’t like you, and seems to make it her job to stop the doctor from doing any work whatsoever.

    Interferes with the golf you know….

  6. GPs are not in control, their consortia will be, in league with the Local Authority, who will “represent the community” (ha!) defining “local heath priorities”.

    It stinks. NHS Direct can then be an easier way to ration supply, to collect more date on us, to find an excuse to force the centralisation and this easy farming of all medical records. Plus nice fat IT contracts all round.

    Same sh*t, same flies!

  7. Daily Mailograph hysteria aside, why are you even remotely surprised about this? I suspect this is exactly the kind of patient referral pathway that the big consortia will be pushing for – in a major way. The only surprise is people thinking that handing care budgets over to United etc is going to enhance localism. How, FFS?

    The value of decent GP receptionists (as with much put upon ward clerks) tends to far exceed their specified job description. They also tend to be first in the firing-line when the management con.sultancy twats arrive – compounded by the general inability to distinguish between admin roles and “bureaucracy”.

  8. They’re doing it elsewhere in the NHS, too. The National Programme for IT is still barrelling along, with PCTs (which are shortly to be abolished, we are promised) busily engaged in taking control of medical records away from GPs (who we are told are about to be empowered), on the basis that any patient who has not objected has consented.

  9. I know I’m sufficiently late on this for my comment to be irrelevant, but:

    Who pays for the NHS Direct call centre person?

    Who pays the GP’s receptionist?

    Or am I being unsubtle here?

    As for Lansley, he’s just a moron.

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