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Labour wants GPs to treat diabetes, arthritis and asthma

Hold up!

See that little date above?

This post was published years ago.

My opinions have changed over time: I think it's quite fun to keep old posts online so that you can see how that has happened. The downside is that there are posts on this site that express views that I now find offensive, or use language in ways I'd never dream of using it today.

I don't believe in airbrushing history, but I do believe that it's important to acknowledge the obvious: some of what I've written in the past has been crap. Some of it was offensive. Some of it was offensively bad. And there's may be some brass among the muck (you can make up your own mind on that).

Some of what I've presented as my own views has been me—wittingly or unwittingly—posturing without having considered all the facts. In a few years, I'll probably think the same about what I'm writing today, and I'm fine with that. Things change. People grow. Society moves forward.

The internet moves on too, which means there might be broken links or embedded content that fails to load. If you're unlucky, that might mean that this post makes no sense at all.

So please consider yourself duly warned: this post is an historical artefact. It's not an exposition of my current views nor a piece of 'content' than necessarily 'works'.

You may now read on... and in most cases, the post you're about to read is considerably shorter than this warning box, so brace for disappointment.

GPs will provide a wider range of services, taking in areas which were once the preserve of traditional hospital care under government plans unveiled today.

This seems like an excellent idea, given how many GPs we have sitting around doing nothing. When I phone my GP, he practically begs me to come down because he’s bored out of his brain.

But seriously, how does John ‘Attack Dog’ Reid really expect to be able to squeeze even more people into the GP queue, especially when he’s busy encouraging GPs to aboloish their appointment systems? People with chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis (RA) inevitably need regular care, which lends itself to an appointment system, not the “phone-up-on-the-day” system that Reid is advocating for GP Practices in order to meet his waiting list targets.

At the same time as announcing a whole raft of new responsibilities for GPs to take on, he’s also announcing

I want to free up our GPs to be all they can be in providing services of a wider range, more conveniently, to patients.

And don’t forget today’s other NHS story:

The NHS is failing to provide adequate family doctor services for patients needing emergency care outside of normal office hours, it emerged today.

So, to summarise, we don’t have enough GPs to go around. Labour’s way of fixing this is to force a whole new set of responsibilities and patients onto GPs, hence freeing them up to provide better services more conveniently to patients.

And Labour say the Conservatives’ plans don’t add up.

This post was filed under: Election 2005.

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