The view of a local GP on the petition about private contractors in the NHS

A  local doctor sent me the following important observations and said I could make it more widely known. This complements my general blog today about the national NHS:


“The emotive ‚Äúsave our NHS‚ÄĚ ¬†petition below is doing the rounds.¬† I don‚Äôt agree with it.


I don’t think the problems of the NHS are related to private  providers.  After all,  as GPs that is exactly what  we are and often are portrayed as the jewel of the nhs!


The main problems of the NHS is the fact that it is overwhelmed with demand that is not directly related clinical need but by the fact that it is completely free and therefore open to over [mis] use .


1¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† A significant portion of NHS resources are consumed inappropriately by a tiny minority of patients who do not have discernibly greater clinical need ¬†than others but ¬†for whom we can no longer act as effective gate keepers.¬† [They are so armed with ‚Äúrights‚ÄĚ and numerous channels of complaint that ¬†waste our time and energy we have to give in]

2¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† The general population are now also more quick to consult at a lower threshold¬† and we have no incentive or public narrative to ‚Äúsave NHS resources‚ÄĚ.¬†¬†¬† So in addition to the tiny minority, ¬†there is a more widespread low level ¬†trend to increased use.


The BMA are too craven to be seen to blaming the ills of the NHS on patients so simply clamour for more resources.  But looking around the world this clearly will not solve the problem.  We have to address the issue of demand in a free service or there will not be an NHS as we know it in  5 years.


On the debate in question I think there is an issue about over-regulation. ¬†¬†¬†To be required to put all services out to tender is bureaucratic and time consuming and often drives up costs and usage. ¬† ¬†It can be useful where the NHS provider has fossilised but I would let the CCG GPs + ¬†managers decide and not regulate it so much ”





  1. Mike Agg
    November 24, 2014

    Why are these observations anonymous? Who is your mysterious doctor friend? I do hope my GP does not share the view that it is the pesky patients who are to blame.

    The public has been encouraged, through numerous NHS public health campaigns, to seek a consultation with their GP on all sorts of issues, as early diagnosis will so often save lives. That they do so should be celebrated.

    Reply The Dr supplied his name but I have withheld it to stop personalising an interesting contribution.

    November 24, 2014

    I’m afraid employers most certainly harass-insist their staff visit doctors when, left to their own devices , they would not do so… anything from a prolonged sniffle to slight injury. This is because of insurance and benefit purposes and the culture in British management, who mistrust the very people they waste time over-interviewing but nevertheless choose to employ and pay, obviously doubting their own judgement which, is probably well justified.
    It must also be said senior citizens are in fact urged by many other sections of official health agencies to see doctors regularly ( just in case ).

    The British media does of course interview TV doctors regularly who also sensationalize ailments and “good” eating etc etc.
    Health, medicine and medical staffing are a political football. Politicians by cross-party agreement can end this folly at any time and focus.
    But you know, the economic survival of doctors is also secured partly on the basis of public support for the competence and wisdom of the medical profession.So, perhaps the recommendation for children to plaster over one of their spectacle lenses in years not too long gone which ruined the eyesight of the good eye for millions world-wide in addition to the lazy eye it was meant to remedy: the recommendation to eat acidic fruits to clean children’s teeth..only a few years ago causing massive tooth decay world-wide and their previous recommendation to brush with soot as soot “is pure” ..well it was a great abrasive too and took tooth enamel straight off. These professional advices did not go down well. There are other examples too with global consequences.
    The British medical profession because in great part of the need for a people to feel confident with its health care has been kept by governments as a delicate hot house flower far away from critical ill-winds. But eventually the north wind duth blow. Make salary while the sun shines could be the watch-word of the medical profession.

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