Health chiefs faced a fierce backlash after ordering GPs to offer face to face appointments for patients, and several Local Medical Committees, groups that represent grassroots GPs across the United Kingdom, wrote to members asking them to reject the new guidance.
The letters, seen by a news outlet, called the move badly judged and frankly ludicrous.
They also suggested that practices remove the email from the NHS England or file it as a keepsake to incompetence.
Meanwhile, the British Medical Association (BMA) accused civil servants of being tone-deaf for not recognising the efforts GPs were making and the pressure they were feeling as a consequence of extensive workload demands.
Doctors on social media also rounded on the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), which last weekend echoed their concerns about policymakers trying to make digital-first services common practice.
NHS England’s updated guidance means all patients will be able to request an in-person appointment with their doctor unless they have COVID symptoms.
Telephone and online appointments, popular with numerous patients, who find them more effective, will remain, but crucially, practices must respect patients choices for face to face care.
RCGP chief Professor Martin Marshall said it was encouraging that this left room for shared decision making between GP and patient on the most appropriate method of consultation, yet GPs on Twitter called the response inadequate, feeble and tepid, and one suggested that doctors had been shafted by the college, and in an online poll, ten per cent of respondents said they’d rather leave medicine than accept the new rules.
And insiders revealed that while the vast preponderance of GPs had been offering face to face appointments, there were pockets where practices had shut up shop.
A source said that the NHS guidance was blunt, and that most of them had been offering a good service in especially challenging circumstances, and that people were feeling besieged as it was, and that this went down badly.
Evidence suggests that phone and online consultation forms had actually increased GPs workloads and that many were experiencing long days of back to back telephone appointments.
The insider added that they knew there were pockets of bad practices, where doctors had shut up shop, and then you get slack GPs who’d willingly do everything over the telephone or on email.
The new rules were aimed at this majority but were sent to everyone, and that was upsetting, and the policy shift was a victory for the news outlets campaign to Let Us See Our GPs Face To Face.
All GPs would have been vaccinated, and hospital doctors are working, but nobody can get referred to a hospital without being first screened by a GP, and they don’t appear to want to see patients whilst raking in a top wage, and if they want telephone only appointments then they may as well move the so-called GP surgeries to call centres, and if you can see a nurse face to face, then you should be able to see a doctor face to face.
Matt Hancock brought in the directive for doctors not to see patients in person and it appears that he only wants telephone and Zoom calls.
Matt Hancock is out of touch, but then all he has to do is phone up his private healthcare for an appointment, which is funded by the taxpayer, and it’s unbelievable that some doctors, not all of them, think it’s okay to hide away as their patients suffer, and those that are hiding are a disgrace to the medical profession.