Scrap the limit of 10 minute GP appointment

Surgeries have a limit of 10 minutes per appointment which may be OK for certain cases but for other critical cases it is insufficient and may have to be extended.

This 10 minute appointment limit with GP should be ended and replaced with the GP's recommendation of length for appointment  according to the case.

Why is this idea important?

Surgeries have a limit of 10 minutes per appointment which may be OK for certain cases but for other critical cases it is insufficient and may have to be extended.

This 10 minute appointment limit with GP should be ended and replaced with the GP's recommendation of length for appointment  according to the case.

Nurse practitioners should not restrict access to doctors

I am concerned about access to doctors on the NHS if the receptionist decides you don't merit an appointment with your doctor. I was told I could not even speak to my doctor on the phone,  so I made the decision to go to a private doctor.  I could not explain to my doctor why I failed to make my next  apppointment.

Why is this idea important?

I am concerned about access to doctors on the NHS if the receptionist decides you don't merit an appointment with your doctor. I was told I could not even speak to my doctor on the phone,  so I made the decision to go to a private doctor.  I could not explain to my doctor why I failed to make my next  apppointment.

Protect “confidential” medical records from the authorities

I am calling for medical confidentiality to be respected and for the practice of allowing the police and CPS access to a person's medical records to be stopped and indeed made illegal and a ban on using a person's medical history or records in criminal proceedings.

Currently, in certain circumstances the police can obtain a warrant to get a copy of a person's supposedly confidential medical records, including mental health records.

Sometimes, the clinical staff responsible for protecting the records will not even require a warrant, but will provide the records on the basis of a request from the police or CPS.

Why should the authorities be able to look at and use your "confidential" medical records against you, when questioning or prosecuting you?

I'm particularly concerned that if someone has a mental health problem,  the fact that medical records are not confidential will put people off seeking help and sharing their thoughts and feelings with a therapist/psychologist/psychiatrist, because they might worry that these probably quite strange thoughts could be used against them in the future. If they don't seek help, their condition will probably get worse and they might become a danger to themselves or others.

The thoughts and feelings expressed in therapy may be no more weird than those that most people have from time to time, but if the person becomes a suspect in an investigation in the future, the fact that they have shared their thoughts in therapy means that they can then be used against them by the police, or as "evidence" or to make them out to be some sort of wierdo and turn the jury against them in court.

If a person is fortunate enough to be able to pay for private therapy, the notes from this will not be available to the authorities, mainly because they will not know that you had therapy or who you saw, but if you are poor and have to accept therapy on the NHS, the authorities will see this from your GP's records and then go fishing in your mental health records for anything they think will help their case.

I think it's disgusting that we don't protect medical confidentiality so that people can seek help without worrying that it might cause problems for them in the future, but currently the NHS and the Government regards your records as their property to do with what they wish.

Why is this idea important?

I am calling for medical confidentiality to be respected and for the practice of allowing the police and CPS access to a person's medical records to be stopped and indeed made illegal and a ban on using a person's medical history or records in criminal proceedings.

Currently, in certain circumstances the police can obtain a warrant to get a copy of a person's supposedly confidential medical records, including mental health records.

Sometimes, the clinical staff responsible for protecting the records will not even require a warrant, but will provide the records on the basis of a request from the police or CPS.

Why should the authorities be able to look at and use your "confidential" medical records against you, when questioning or prosecuting you?

I'm particularly concerned that if someone has a mental health problem,  the fact that medical records are not confidential will put people off seeking help and sharing their thoughts and feelings with a therapist/psychologist/psychiatrist, because they might worry that these probably quite strange thoughts could be used against them in the future. If they don't seek help, their condition will probably get worse and they might become a danger to themselves or others.

The thoughts and feelings expressed in therapy may be no more weird than those that most people have from time to time, but if the person becomes a suspect in an investigation in the future, the fact that they have shared their thoughts in therapy means that they can then be used against them by the police, or as "evidence" or to make them out to be some sort of wierdo and turn the jury against them in court.

If a person is fortunate enough to be able to pay for private therapy, the notes from this will not be available to the authorities, mainly because they will not know that you had therapy or who you saw, but if you are poor and have to accept therapy on the NHS, the authorities will see this from your GP's records and then go fishing in your mental health records for anything they think will help their case.

I think it's disgusting that we don't protect medical confidentiality so that people can seek help without worrying that it might cause problems for them in the future, but currently the NHS and the Government regards your records as their property to do with what they wish.

Freedom to choose male doctor

Currently, where there are group practices, a woman patient can choose to see a woman doctor where the problem is female-only (and sometimes even when it isn't).

But there are also problems that are male-only. Sometimes a male patient would feel more comfortable discussing his issue with a man because a woman — purely because of her female sex and for no other reason — would be out of touch.

This choice should be available to men.

Why is this idea important?

Currently, where there are group practices, a woman patient can choose to see a woman doctor where the problem is female-only (and sometimes even when it isn't).

But there are also problems that are male-only. Sometimes a male patient would feel more comfortable discussing his issue with a man because a woman — purely because of her female sex and for no other reason — would be out of touch.

This choice should be available to men.

Devolve funding of all drugs work to GPs

At present, the Department of Health holds the budget for Drug Action Teams, and ring- fences it for work with users of "controlled" drugs.

The result is an inequality of healthcare provision. A problem user of "controlled" drugs has a 1 in 2 chance of getting medical help, but the chance for an alcoholic is ten times worse.

 Once again, we can clearly see the political prejudices against "controlled" drugs working against the interests of public health. 1 in 13 UK adults is alcohol- dependent. This is a very seious problem for a very large number of people.

As Andrew Lansley devolves commissioning of services to GPs, he should include in this full responsibility for all the work Drug Action Teams currently do. So that the money can finally be dedicated accordfing to clinical need, not political prejudice.

 

Why is this idea important?

At present, the Department of Health holds the budget for Drug Action Teams, and ring- fences it for work with users of "controlled" drugs.

The result is an inequality of healthcare provision. A problem user of "controlled" drugs has a 1 in 2 chance of getting medical help, but the chance for an alcoholic is ten times worse.

 Once again, we can clearly see the political prejudices against "controlled" drugs working against the interests of public health. 1 in 13 UK adults is alcohol- dependent. This is a very seious problem for a very large number of people.

As Andrew Lansley devolves commissioning of services to GPs, he should include in this full responsibility for all the work Drug Action Teams currently do. So that the money can finally be dedicated accordfing to clinical need, not political prejudice.

 

Return the responsibility for Out-of-Hours medical care to GP’s

The current out-of-hours medical care is demonstrably not working. One doctor can end up being responsible for half a county, and foreign doctors have been deployed with (in at least one high-profile case) fatal results because of the language barrier.

GP's are now being paid more, with less responsibility. Time to redress the balance, and return to the previous pattern of practices being responsible for the care of their own patients at night or at weekends.

Why is this idea important?

The current out-of-hours medical care is demonstrably not working. One doctor can end up being responsible for half a county, and foreign doctors have been deployed with (in at least one high-profile case) fatal results because of the language barrier.

GP's are now being paid more, with less responsibility. Time to redress the balance, and return to the previous pattern of practices being responsible for the care of their own patients at night or at weekends.

Stop DWP medical assessments. Trust our doctors to know best!

I have had my medical conditions for over ten years but when I claimed Employment support allowance (ESA) I had to undergo a medical with ATOS, a private company. I already receive Disability living allowance and have done for several years.

Paying a private comapny to assess claimants medical conditions is a waste of money and unnecessary. A claimant's doctor, psychiatrist or consultant is considered competent emough to prescribe dangerous medications, so why are they not trusted to tick a few boxes for the DWP?

The amount of money wasted is not the only issue. The number of appeals for disability related benefits has risen sharply. Many of the appeals consist of the assessing doctors either making mistakes or not recording the claimant's medical details correctly. Removing this private company from undertaking these assessments would alleviate a lot of stress for disabled people and especially for people with mental health problems.

Many disabilities can be hidden and only a doctor who knows you can assess you fairly. The DWP's actions make it feel as if they consider every person who applies a liar. If their own doctors support the claim then surely that should be enough?

The medical assessment should also be valid for all health and disability related benfits. At present a person would need to be assessed separately for each benefit which doubles the cost.

Why is this idea important?

I have had my medical conditions for over ten years but when I claimed Employment support allowance (ESA) I had to undergo a medical with ATOS, a private company. I already receive Disability living allowance and have done for several years.

Paying a private comapny to assess claimants medical conditions is a waste of money and unnecessary. A claimant's doctor, psychiatrist or consultant is considered competent emough to prescribe dangerous medications, so why are they not trusted to tick a few boxes for the DWP?

The amount of money wasted is not the only issue. The number of appeals for disability related benefits has risen sharply. Many of the appeals consist of the assessing doctors either making mistakes or not recording the claimant's medical details correctly. Removing this private company from undertaking these assessments would alleviate a lot of stress for disabled people and especially for people with mental health problems.

Many disabilities can be hidden and only a doctor who knows you can assess you fairly. The DWP's actions make it feel as if they consider every person who applies a liar. If their own doctors support the claim then surely that should be enough?

The medical assessment should also be valid for all health and disability related benfits. At present a person would need to be assessed separately for each benefit which doubles the cost.

Medical privacy

I don't know what law implies that the state has the right to request information that should remain between yourself and your doctor, but whatever it is needs changing.

 

When attempting to sign on for JSA I do NOT expect to be asked what, if any, medication I am on.  That's between me and my GP, not me and the state.

 

If I have an employer, it's between me and them.  Not me and the state.  So, stop the DWP asking questions they have no right to ask.

Why is this idea important?

I don't know what law implies that the state has the right to request information that should remain between yourself and your doctor, but whatever it is needs changing.

 

When attempting to sign on for JSA I do NOT expect to be asked what, if any, medication I am on.  That's between me and my GP, not me and the state.

 

If I have an employer, it's between me and them.  Not me and the state.  So, stop the DWP asking questions they have no right to ask.

Make the contraceptive Pill available free from pharmacies

To obtain the contraceptive Pill, one must currently have an appointment with the nurse every time it is prescribed (usually every three or six months). The main purpose of this appointment is to check blood pressure, but devices to read blood pressure are already located in many GPs' waiting rooms, and could be installed in all large pharmacies. If the 'morning-after' pill is available from pharmacies, why couldn't more preventative measures also be made available?

I stress that it would have to be decided by health experts whether this should or should not be available for people being prescribed the Pill for the first time, as these women may need to discuss its suitability for them with a nurse. It should certainly be an option for those for whom it was a repeat prescription, and who could provide evidence of this.

Why is this idea important?

To obtain the contraceptive Pill, one must currently have an appointment with the nurse every time it is prescribed (usually every three or six months). The main purpose of this appointment is to check blood pressure, but devices to read blood pressure are already located in many GPs' waiting rooms, and could be installed in all large pharmacies. If the 'morning-after' pill is available from pharmacies, why couldn't more preventative measures also be made available?

I stress that it would have to be decided by health experts whether this should or should not be available for people being prescribed the Pill for the first time, as these women may need to discuss its suitability for them with a nurse. It should certainly be an option for those for whom it was a repeat prescription, and who could provide evidence of this.

Remove catchment areas of GPs

Allow people to register for any GP surgery, rather than a handful within their catchment area.

If this is not possible, then at least make the catchment areas bigger. Eg. to increase to whole london boroughs rather than small areas within.

Why is this idea important?

Allow people to register for any GP surgery, rather than a handful within their catchment area.

If this is not possible, then at least make the catchment areas bigger. Eg. to increase to whole london boroughs rather than small areas within.

Ensure all trainee GPs are given adequate mental health training

I deliver a basic mental health awareness course and have been shocked recently to find a low level of understanding about mental health amongst trainee GPs who attend. Some may have had 8 weeks working on an acute ward but a lot have taken other options and seem to have had no training in this area whatsoever.

Mental health training should be a compulsory part of their training, as these issues will inevitably be involved in much of their work with patients.

Why is this idea important?

I deliver a basic mental health awareness course and have been shocked recently to find a low level of understanding about mental health amongst trainee GPs who attend. Some may have had 8 weeks working on an acute ward but a lot have taken other options and seem to have had no training in this area whatsoever.

Mental health training should be a compulsory part of their training, as these issues will inevitably be involved in much of their work with patients.

Lift all restrictions on over the counter pain tablets.

Present restrictions are two packets only, this amounts to 32 tablets, 4 days for anyone in acute pain. Back pain can come on suddendly, last for a short or long period of time, for chronic suffererers a GP visit is not always helpful as often one or two weeks of  pain tablets resolves the problem. The unavailability of purchasing pain tablets in larger quantities forces those with short term back problems, to visit a GP for a perscription. This cannot be cost effective.

Why is this idea important?

Present restrictions are two packets only, this amounts to 32 tablets, 4 days for anyone in acute pain. Back pain can come on suddendly, last for a short or long period of time, for chronic suffererers a GP visit is not always helpful as often one or two weeks of  pain tablets resolves the problem. The unavailability of purchasing pain tablets in larger quantities forces those with short term back problems, to visit a GP for a perscription. This cannot be cost effective.

Patients should have control over their data – there should not be any surprises

Patients should have the right to choose whether or not their personal and/or clinical data is processed (including but not restricted to, uploading to databases, shared, accessed and so on).  Explicit informed consent should be required BEFORE any personal or clinical data can be added to databases or other means of storing or sharing data.  Automatic opt-in should not be allowed to avoid patients being surprised to find out that their data is being processed for any purpose other than the specific purpose they were provided for.

IT should not drive patients' rights – patients need to be in control of their data.  Going to your GP should not be a worry as to whether your data is going to end up on some database that you are not aware of, or that some researcher is going to be able to trawl through your records without your consent.  This is not acceptable.

This applies to all data processing possibilities concerning patient data (personal and clinical).  To help to avoid surprises and to ensure that patients are kept fully informed of any processing of their data (and to ensure that only processing that has been consented to is taking place), patients should be provided with a regular list of all potential forms of data processing possible regarding their data together with a list of any processing that they have currently consented to.

Why is this idea important?

Patients should have the right to choose whether or not their personal and/or clinical data is processed (including but not restricted to, uploading to databases, shared, accessed and so on).  Explicit informed consent should be required BEFORE any personal or clinical data can be added to databases or other means of storing or sharing data.  Automatic opt-in should not be allowed to avoid patients being surprised to find out that their data is being processed for any purpose other than the specific purpose they were provided for.

IT should not drive patients' rights – patients need to be in control of their data.  Going to your GP should not be a worry as to whether your data is going to end up on some database that you are not aware of, or that some researcher is going to be able to trawl through your records without your consent.  This is not acceptable.

This applies to all data processing possibilities concerning patient data (personal and clinical).  To help to avoid surprises and to ensure that patients are kept fully informed of any processing of their data (and to ensure that only processing that has been consented to is taking place), patients should be provided with a regular list of all potential forms of data processing possible regarding their data together with a list of any processing that they have currently consented to.

Patients data and databases – there should be no surprises

Patients should be autonomous – have the freedom to control – the processing of their personal and clinical data/records.  They should also be kept fully informed as to the processing of their personal and medical data on a regular basis.

So BEFORE any personal or clinical data can be added to a database/register or other data storage system the patient should be asked to give informed consent.  If the patient refuses consent then the data should not be processed (that includes sharing, uploading, accessing and so on).  

There should not be any surprises for the patient regarding processing of their personal and clinical data.

Why is this idea important?

Patients should be autonomous – have the freedom to control – the processing of their personal and clinical data/records.  They should also be kept fully informed as to the processing of their personal and medical data on a regular basis.

So BEFORE any personal or clinical data can be added to a database/register or other data storage system the patient should be asked to give informed consent.  If the patient refuses consent then the data should not be processed (that includes sharing, uploading, accessing and so on).  

There should not be any surprises for the patient regarding processing of their personal and clinical data.

Scrap Practice Based Commissioning

Your GP is there to provice clinicla care to thier patients. Most full time GPs have around 2000 patients each, by making them responsible for commissions as well will take them away from thier core service of patient care. Give commissioning to commissioners so GP's can care for the sick.

Why is this idea important?

Your GP is there to provice clinicla care to thier patients. Most full time GPs have around 2000 patients each, by making them responsible for commissions as well will take them away from thier core service of patient care. Give commissioning to commissioners so GP's can care for the sick.

Scrap the Qualities & Outcomes Framework in General Practice

The Qualities and outcomes framework in generla practice is a bean counting exercise that bears no relation to good clinical care. GP surgeries simply tick boxes to gain points. Scrap the system and allow the money to be used as the Doctors see fit so they can concentrate on clinical care for thier patients not chasing money.   

Why is this idea important?

The Qualities and outcomes framework in generla practice is a bean counting exercise that bears no relation to good clinical care. GP surgeries simply tick boxes to gain points. Scrap the system and allow the money to be used as the Doctors see fit so they can concentrate on clinical care for thier patients not chasing money.   

NHS Database

Citizens' medical data should only be uploaded to the NHS Database when they have given their express consent to their GP (or hospital) for this to happen – an "opt in" system. The current and hated  "opt-out" system should be halted without delay – as the BMA says, patients do not understand that silence equals consent.

Why is this idea important?

Citizens' medical data should only be uploaded to the NHS Database when they have given their express consent to their GP (or hospital) for this to happen – an "opt in" system. The current and hated  "opt-out" system should be halted without delay – as the BMA says, patients do not understand that silence equals consent.

LET GP’S MANAGE THEIR OWN SURGERY

Being in the unfortunate postition of seeing my GP on a regular basis, over the last five years it has become harder and harder to find an appointment, due to targets, regulations and constraints the previous government demanded.

Political interference in health matters have become the 'norm'. GP Surgeries have been tied up with so much red tape they are unable to function as a surgery should – to be there for the patient!

Let the GP's manage their own surgeries without the constraints imposed on them by government, which is causing significant distress to those who need to see a doctor. The situation is now so bad that in effect you have to 'book an illness' in advance to see your own GP!

If it's not broken – don't fix it, the previous Labour government have 'fixed' so many ordinary services to make them more efficient!!!!! No wonder we are in the mess we are in!

Why is this idea important?

Being in the unfortunate postition of seeing my GP on a regular basis, over the last five years it has become harder and harder to find an appointment, due to targets, regulations and constraints the previous government demanded.

Political interference in health matters have become the 'norm'. GP Surgeries have been tied up with so much red tape they are unable to function as a surgery should – to be there for the patient!

Let the GP's manage their own surgeries without the constraints imposed on them by government, which is causing significant distress to those who need to see a doctor. The situation is now so bad that in effect you have to 'book an illness' in advance to see your own GP!

If it's not broken – don't fix it, the previous Labour government have 'fixed' so many ordinary services to make them more efficient!!!!! No wonder we are in the mess we are in!