Monday, 29 December 2008
I’m never quite sure where Primary Care ends and Acute Care begins. Our GP seems quick to send me off to A&E these days. Anyone would think I’m an awkward old git instead of a sick old gentleman. We have had a long running campaign against our PCT over the provision of a clinic in our area and over the number of GPs we have. We’ve been mislead, blatantly lied to and politically manipulated with a patient survey that was amateurish in its content and designed to give the PCT the result it wanted. The person responsible for Primary Care provision in our area is not trusted and we have a major difference of opinion in what we see as adequate GP provision. I have commented before on how we have lost doctors and how when a surgery had building repair problems it had to be closed for two weeks whilst the work was carried out. Our PCT claim it is a perceived view that we have inadequate facilities but during the surgery closure about 1300 patients had virtually no health care. Our MP did get an apology from the chief exec over the surgery closure but it was the patients who should have had the apology. Although our local politicians give some support to our complaints as far as I can see our MP who could make a difference seems to accept that things are OK. From a sick patients point of view primary care in our area is poor. I can give many examples of not being able to get appointments or having to wait for hours in a surgery full of people with coughs and colds (last thing I need these days is flu and before you shout get a jab, I can’t at this stage of my treatment) The problem is not with our GPs but I think with the system. We have little choice of GP provision so it’s a case of take it or leave it which I feel is unsatisfactory to many patients in Newton. Our Primary Care Trust won an award recently from HSJ as the best trust in England. Things must be pretty bad in other parts of the country. But until we get full political support for the campaign we will get nowhere. It’s difficult to see how this can happen in our ward with two lib dem councillors, one labour and a labour MP. It will take a major incident for things to change; I just hope I’m not it.