‘We’re not lazy and pull our weight’: GPs hit back after being accused of being responsible for record-breaking delays in accidents and emergencies
- NHS trusts have blamed GPs for record-breaking emergency room delays
- More than half of people in the ED are not seen within 4 HOURS of arrival
- GPs insist they are seeing more patients than ever and are also under pressure
GP leaders have denounced the ‘myth’ that a lack of access to GPs is responsible for record emergency room waiting times, which have been blamed for causing hundreds of deaths each week.
A number of NHS groups have recently pointed out that their emergency departments are largely overburdened because people have nowhere else to go if they can’t see a GP.
But in a document viewed by The Mail on Sunday, GPs hit back, claiming that the emergency room was ‘not overrun with patients who needed to be seen by their GP’ and that instead the service had ‘its own pressure’.
It highlights that less than one percent of ER patients should have visited their GP instead, and that GPs are booking more appointments than ever.
GPs have defended against claims they add to the Accident and Emergency crisis
A&E units across the country have struggled with demand
The document is part of a fact sheet provided to GPs and produced by the North Staffordshire GP Federation, which represents 70 surgeries. Dr. Annamalai Veerappan, chair of the group, says the intention was for members to share the information with their patients in order to set the record straight about harmful ‘myths’.
Last week figures from NHS England showed that more than half of all patients going to ED were not seen within four hours – the worst waiting times on record. These delays – combined with the worst ambulance response times ever – lead to as many as 500 deaths a week, according to the Royal College of Emergency Medicine.
On multiple occasions, the college has blamed a lack of access to GPs on increasingly overcrowded emergency departments. The Labor Party has made similar claims.
Dr. Cat Anderson, a GP from Staffordshire, says: ‘I saw a patient who was told by a paramedic that the reason they had to wait so long in the ER was that ‘GPs were lazy and uncooperative’.
“This kind of language is downright shocking and creates a distorted image.”