Patients are an occupational hazard

FIRST it was the 'minor injuries provision' which was to be removed from rural GP practices, now, according to Gareth Jones' letter (Mercury, November 3) it appears district nurses and health visitors are going too. Will it be the doctors themselves next?

FIRST it was the 'minor injuries provision' which was to be removed from rural GP practices, now, according to Gareth Jones' letter (Mercury, November 3) it appears district nurses and health visitors are going too. Will it be the doctors themselves next?Mr Jones draws a parallel to the rural post offices. All the key services they offered have been removed and now they are fighting to survive. Are we going to have to fight just to see a local doctor? Your article certainly gave me the impression that consultation was simply an exercise that has to be seen to be done, but the decision has been made. The PCT's document, 'Shaping our Future - you spoke, we are listening' indicated that the future of General Practice care would be located in GP Resource Centres in Clevedon, Portishead and Weston. When I asked about how this would affect the rural GP practices, I was categorically assured that they would not be affected. Indeed, quite the contrary - rural GP practices would be enhanced with many more services being offered - the Government wanted a more 'Community based NHS'. I confess that I was sceptical.How right I was. Here we have a PCT which is now busily trying to remove more key areas of 'a more community based NHS' and place them in Nailsea - a town from where they will cover a far wider area, be task orientated, where nurses will spend valuable skilled nursing time behind the wheels of their cars whilst they add to the volume of traffic and pollution. Job satisfaction or care of the whole patient is a thing of the past. The problem with today's NHS is that the patients are fast becoming viewed as an occupational hazard. Thank you Mr Jones for speaking up about this bizarre plan. Thank goodness for some basic common sense.JAN MURRAYChurch Lane, Churchill


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