This is a question I intend to put to the health ministers in September.
Because it is quite clear that if you are registered with a GP at some distance from where you live, and you become ill and need medical attention, then you will not be seen by your own GP. You will be seen by some other ‘willing provider’. (And I predict that the provisions put in place for this will not be robust). And if you are too ill to travel to see your own GPs, then any necessary follow up will have to be by the other ‘willing provider’.
A patient of our’s had a cancer diagnosis delayed due to this problem. See this previous post for details. Patient number 2, ‘L’, has since died. One of the reasons for poor cancer survival rates is late diagnosis. This patient’s delayed diagnosis was due to being at a distance from our practice.
When there are deaths as a result of this proposed change in the way general practice is structured in England (note: not in Scotland or Wales), should the bereaved families, or their lawyers, contact Andrew Lansley, Andy Burnham, the Health Select Committee, The King’s Fund, The Patient’s Association, The Department of Health?
This is something I hope they will clarify before implementing this policy.