Among many promises or ‘plans’ made this week, all Parties have consigned that patients have the right to see a GP out of hours. This has today has been queried by the British Medical Association here in fear that it might risk further fragmentation of services.
Similarly, the Tories have been warned to be careful about GP commissioning in the HSJ this week over concerns that it could undermine integrated care organisation. Instead it suggests that PCT’s should lead on delivering value for money.
I think that there needs to be some real thinking around what value for money looks like in the Primary care setting. Whilst addressing the fear of further fragmentation.
The idea of utilising pharmacies has been on the sideline of this deate and is a great idea – and is presently undervalued. Both Labour and the Lib Dems have recognised this in their manifestos. But in reality it is questionable whether it’s able to take the heat off the GP surgery?
Pharmacies are the most under utilised health resource that exists.
They are open long and extended hours routinely. They have confidential consultation areas.
They are the health professional on the high street.
It needs incentives not major investment to use this resource to its fullest potential.
Thanks for your comment Robin Brown. This is definitely true, major investment wouldn’t be necessary because these resources are already there. We need to see our pharmacists better used. I think that some people find it difficult to understand the many health professionals beyond their GP.