Friday, October 08, 2004

What would Dr Finlay have thought of today's NHS?

And so to Stockbridge to meet with the local GPs. The meeting was arranged following concerns about the out of hours services (mainly mine on behalf of constituents), new arrangements for orthopaedic operations and introduction of orthopaedic triage in the area (mainly theirs) so we decided to get together.

As is always the case with these things there were other matters that they wished to raise so the meeting was useful as an opportunity to highlight some of the issues facing primary care. Although we discussed the above and other issues (NHS IT services, booking systems for cataract operations, palliative care, the future of Andover hospital, car parking at the local hospitals and waiting times for diagnostics) there was actually a clear theme that linked many of these subjects together.

Above all it was clear that the formation of the Primary Care Trusts has not led to any more engagement with GPs and they all felt that things were happening around them and their views were never actively sought.

I did promise to take up some of the issues that were discussed but they were realistic about the fact that a single MP cannot change the world overnight (much as we would all like to) . As I left one of the GPs commented that it had been an opportunity to get things off his chest and another commented that it was a sort of therapy.
An interesting point because MPs are expected to be public speakers, advocates for their constituency, legislators etc but the role of MP as therapist is rarely mentioned.