Matt Hancock is facing repercussions from patients and medical groups after saying that all consultations should be carried out virtually unless there was a compelling clinical reason not to.
During a talk in London, the Health Secretary welcomed a new era of Zoom medicine in which face to face meetings with doctors will be superseded by video link or telephone and pointing to the operational modifications introduced throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Matt Hancock stated there was a need for bureaucracy busting in the NHS, with virtual consultations freeing up doctors time for those most in need.
He continued that while there would always be a method for people who could not log on, it would be wrong to patronise older people by saying they don’t do tech.
Nevertheless, Rachel Power, the chief executive of the Patients Association, declared that moving consultations online by default seemed to be based on no proof whatsoever of what works for patients, and that patients have had to put up with a great deal over recent months to help the NHS cope with this unusual crisis, usually at significant harm to their own health and wellbeing, but that this couldn’t be permitted to become the new normal.
There are also concerns that a shift to online will disproportionately impact elderly patients with insufficient access to technology, as well as decreasing the chances of detecting the early symptoms of disease or illness associated with physical consultations.
Dr Richard Vautrey, chair of the British Medical Association’s GP committee, said that while the union had long fought for more inclusive use of technology, the proposal that all appointments going forward would be remote by default must be approached with caution.
Physical appointments will always be an important part of general practice, and they continue to be essential for countless patients and the management of particular conditions, and Matt Hancock must not lose sight of that.
And resounding those concerns, Edel Harris, chief executive of the charity Mencap, said the shift could severely exacerbate the health inequalities that already exist for people with a learning disability.
The United Kingdom has 1.5 million people with a learning disability who need to be given face to face consultations automatically, without them needing to ask.
However, in his speech to the Royal College of Physicians, Matt Hancock stated there had been climactic changes to how the NHS operates as a consequence of the COVID 19 pandemic and it could not be permitted to fall back into bad old habits.
And he continued that the crisis had shown that patients and clinicians alike, not just the young, want to use technology and that the feedback from the transformation had been hugely positive, and that from now on, all consultations should be teleconsultations except if there’s a compelling clinical reason not to.
He further said that if there’s an emergency, the NHS would be waiting and available to see a patient in person, just as it has always been, but that if patients are able to, they should first contact through the web or by calling in advance, and that way the care would be easier to maintain and the NHS can then deliver a much better service.
However, the NHS has already spent millions of pounds in the past on computer systems that were unfit for purpose and honestly, if a patient has a lump or a particular pain in the stomach or side, what asset is a computer conference?
Please, computer, tell me if I have appendicitis or a hernia as my GP can’t be bothered to deal with people – complete nonsense, and it’s already difficult enough to get to see a doctor as it is.
The NHS was established on a standard that ensured GP’s maintained their autonomous business and performed the first line of contact face to face for patients with health problems.
And if this key face to face contact is no longer to be available, how long will it be before robots take over? Politically doctors and nurses will be obsolete permanently, and I do wonder who’s muttering in Matt Hancock’s ear, maybe it’s that robot, or perhaps he is the robot.
Oh, perhaps not because the man is a complete clown, and robots are much more intelligent and seeing a patient face to face, where a GP can detect apparent signs of disease, but not apparent via a phone call and not seen or understood by patients, that’s a bad old habit as far as Matt Hancock is concerned – heaven help us, and I’m amazed this guy still has a job.
Vets would be dismissed from their positions if they didn’t examine their patients, pets in this case, so why should human beings have a more inferior standard of care than animals?
Is it because vets work commercially and have to satisfy paying clients whereas GP’s simply rake in the money through our taxes despite how rubbish their service is?
This is making policy on the hoof by Matt Hancock. Where is the patient consultation in all of this? The NHS should be there to serve the people, not the other way round, and has he really thought about patient confidentiality in regard to video consultations?
Presumably not, and it’s not that easy for an individual living in a family environment to conduct a video call in private, and furthermore, how would anyone know if there was another person in earshot of the GP at the other end of the call?
Perhaps if we had confidence that Matt Hancock had even a speck of understanding about how the health services and the medical profession actually function, rather than the sneaking suspicion that this is all one great ego trip for him, then we might respect his ideas more.
As it was, he appeared out of his depth, public health-wise, well before COVID 19 came along, and that opinion by some of the public hasn’t changed, and a degree in PPE, and a readiness to issue health decrees with a stern appearance from behind a podium, isn’t adequate enough in these extraordinary times.
Matt Hancock needs to step down in favour of a medically qualified person, on top of his game, with knowledge and insight into the human condition – sadly such people don’t enter politics often, but he does need to step down and virtually any replacement would be a definite improvement.
And the audacity of the man, while hundreds of thousands of people, certainly by now millions have had their appointments with GPs and hospitals for diagnosis and treatment cancelled.
And it does seem that the novel norm is indeed a phone call even when the hospital referral quite clearly needed a physical examination of the patient, and the result, of course, further delays before the patient can be seen, and in the meantime, their health can dangerously worsen to the extent it may be life-threatening or terminal.
We’ve previously seen people die because GP practice receptionists have turned people away and the same occurs with the key response numbers 111 et cetera, and Matt Hancock truly is a clown and we’ve had more than enough of his half-hour of fame, and he should now be ordered to shut up and commence delivering the NHS service we all deserve, and for which we’ve paid for all our lives – we should not, however, be paying for it with our lives, and it really does seem like people are now using this COVID 19 crisis to expedite their own agendas.
And while most of us were happy to toe the line at the start, one is rather left with the perception that COVID 19 is being used as an excuse for shoddy service across a broad spectrum of sectors.
There’s a diversity of different video conferencing systems from Messenger, Zoom and Microsoft and others. Is Matt Hancock implying that all surgeries and hospitals use multiple platforms depending on what the patient can access and use, or does he have shares in Zoom?
Perhaps the NHS could invest its own world-beating video system, waste a few hundred million and a couple of years to come up with something so filled with imperfections and glitches as a consequence of the specs changing every five minutes, then abandoned it, just like all the other projects they’ve abandoned because they clearly don’t work, and this is only if everyone gets superfast broadband and can use the technology.
And how will this system weigh a patient and monitor their heart rate and blood pressure, especially older patients? And if a patient is exhibiting breathing problems, how will their doctor listen to their lungs?
This appears to have less to do with enthusiasm for new tech and more with downgrading patient care and then outsourcing it. After all, if people can essentially work from home anywhere in the world, perhaps the new gatekeepers to the NHS will be the equivalent of call centres in third world countries who will determine if you can have a personal one to one with a real doctor, and I bet MP’s and the wealthy will still be able to get a personal appointment anytime they want – it will just be the little people who will be filtered out.
If a person has COPD requires a check on their health, it will now be done by telephone call. What are they going to ask? How many infections that person has had in the last twelve months, but I fail to see how any GP over the telephone can monitor their blood pressure, lung function or listen to a person’s chest to see if there are any indications that person did have an infection or was worsening.
Matt Hancock is an idiot, and doctors will be wide open for malpractice lawsuits for misdiagnosis, and then there’s the prostate examination – how is a GP supposed to do a prostate examination online?
And elderly patients, especially those in their 80s and 90s, this method is futile, because many in this age group, don’t have internet, and having a phone consultation when they’re sick and worried is beyond their understanding – they’re from a generation where they expect to see a GP and have a proper consultation.
What you have to realise with Matt Hancock and the worthless reprobate before him, is that they spend all their time trying to get into No 10, and this latest scheme is a cover-up for the fact that Public Health England (PHE) and the NHS is a total mess with the doctors and the British Medical Association totally complicit in this, and the conning of the British people.
Before long we’ll have a robot doing operations, then all the doctors and nurses can go down the pub, instead of working, and God forbid that Matt Hancock should get anywhere near No 10 is quite honestly pretty terrifying.
Boris Johnson is only showing his face periodically and Matt Hancock seems to be running the show at present, and the man is out of his depth, but savouring every moment, utilising the power given to him, and he’s nothing short of a tinpot dictator.
And now there are numerous GPs who are enjoying the taxpayer’s generosity and COVID 19 has provided another step for them to rest on their ample backsides, doing their bit from home.
Meanwhile, at the hands of the NHS, which is one of the worst performers in patient outcomes in the western world, but the third-largest employer in the world, we’re now seeing old people with COVID 19 consigned to death from being thrown out of hospitals with COVID 19, and we watch as millions of cancer patients whose illness may have been treatable, now enter a more serious stage of the disease.
Then there are the patients with mental health problems who are being refused access to the counsellors they require, and let’s not overlook the hard-working GPs who can now magically diagnose a patients illness, no matter how severe or life-threatening it is, by telepathy.
As a result, we have paid taxes for our children’s education, that they haven’t had access to, and a National Health Service which has forgotten its the service provider, and a police force which no longer investigates crime or brutality but centres on hate crimes via the internet.
Our NHS used to be the envy of the world but now it’s just not true, and whilst it’s inefficient and unresponsive, neglect of patients will continue, but let’s not forget, even though most of us would agree that Matt Hancock is a schlong, don’t forget he has his policies signed off by his boss Boris Johnson and Boris should also be taking responsibility for this mess.
And it seems like the Conservative party have no initiative and it’s looking quite likely that the Prime Minister is not well in the head, and most of our politicians have seriously lost the plot, so who do we now turn to politically represent us? Whilst in the meantime we’re beginning to resemble a communist nation.
I guess the solution would be to improve internet access, and not stick with a Stone Age wheel that’s broken, and there are a lot of old people, some of whom are extremely comfortable online. However, the majority are not.
You can’t make 80-year-olds and older to buy costly equipment and learn to use it, and let’s face it, many can’t afford it, and there aren’t enough people to teach them, and even if there were, they simply wouldn’t be able to understand it.
Modern technology frightens a lot of old people, and they’re a lot of elderly people in their 80s and 90s who are in the initial stages of dementia, and if they need any help, it would be to put money back into the care system, instead of talking about fancy computers.
These people wouldn’t be able to deal with the technology that is internet or smartphones, this isn’t because they’re launching their toys out of their pram, it’s because they’re of an age that they can’t cope.
I would also like to add, that these are the people who have always taken charge for their well-being and the well-being of their children when they were growing up, and yet these same people are being treated like criminals because they simply can’t use computer technology.
Matt Hancock is clearly a chump and a threat to public health. He might be somewhat presentable, but he’s way out of his depth as far as to the substance of his job, and certainly not on top of his game.
And we should be putting adults in charge of this extremely important job because I can’t remember when we last had an adult in parliament, and most people have given up on the British state, they’re not worth it, especially for the level of coddling and intrusion they necessitate in return for the non-existent services they provide.
And the idea of being reliant on fools like Matt Hancock for our future healthcare should terrify us, and Matt Hancock makes me cringe every time he opens his orifice.
Many of us don’t like phone calls, and they certainly wouldn’t want to consult with a doctor over Zoom. They want to visit a proper surgery and chat in private face to face, and actually feel that they’re worth something.
Matt Hancock is power-mad and does the most ludicrous things, and this guy is a menace to British society, and it’s becoming clear there’s a vast amount of money swapping hands between the government and tech companies and the NHS is being used as the vehicle to make the journey from one sweaty hand to another.
I have been to a lot of hospitals and emergency wards and nurses and doctors always do two things, measure your pulse and measure your blood pressure. These are necessary things they to need do to get medical information, and you have to be there to have it done, and going to your GP is the same.
So, teleconsultations are rubbish and they will most probably get people killed because professional medical help won’t be there when people need it, and this just demonstrates that Matt Hancock is a maniac and that he just doesn’t give a damn about people – they’re just statistics to him, and as long as I’m okay Jack, damnation to everyone else.
GP surgeries are not opening properly, and their functioning staff are rushing about like trussed up chickens with face nappies and running about as if the Black Death is upon our doorstep.
This is propaganda of the most sardonic and glaring kind, and hospitals may be catching up with the 10,000,000 appointments, but that’s not going to be of much aid to the families of the tens of thousands of Britons who have died as a consequence of the Government’s arrantly criminal edict because they closed the service to normal patients.
And then there are those people who had shown manifestations of the virus and were told they had symptoms, but in fact, did not – doesn’t do much for your mental health.
Doctors undergo a long medical degree, after which they continue down a path as they develop their career, with a constant series of training and working, yet without a by or leave a spotty faced Matt Hancock with a badge thinks he can reform the medical profession.
I can think of a few medical procedures that might improve his head a bit more clearly, and it seems as if our Government has a new motto – die at home and save the NHS and GPs the bother.
And this cretinous national socialist is so out of his depth, the little Hitler needs removing from his bunker and consigning to a dustbin immediately, and now our GP surgery has built a stronghold around itself.
To get anything one has to convince a not medically qualified receptionist one is actually sick, and this just proves that Matt Hancock has finally lost the plot – is he really the Health Secretary? Of course not, he’s the COVID hysteric.
So, now everything has to be put online, but that’s nothing new, over the past five years or so, and I imagine eventually, doctors waiting rooms will fade, and computer diagnostics will be the standard, with one primary doctor in the nearest hospital, except if you live in a middle-class area.
Of course, there are some elderly people who have no technical difficulties with video consultation. The dilemma I see is how a doctor doing a video call with a patient is going to stick their finger up their backside to feel their prostate.
And the assumption is always made that everyone has the technology available, and has the confidence to use it, as well as having a reasonable broadband speed or mobile signal.
Not everyone has and ironically, the people most likely to have none of the above are the ones most likely to need access to a GP. The elderly, people with learning difficulties, mental health problems, the disadvantaged and the vulnerable.
Not to mention people for whom English is not their first language and I sympathise with a parent with an ill, agitated child who can’t sit still for five minutes for the GP to do a virtual examination – this is yet another example of certain groups being nudged to the periphery of society.
It appears that Matt Hancock was chosen from the bottom of the barrel by Boris Johnson, soliciting loyalty before the competency in his cabinet, and why does Matt Hancock presume to speak of things he hasn’t the foggiest idea about?
Or is it because Boris Johnson can get on with being in charge, with no responsibility?