The UK & Irish economies are in a sorry state. Although the recession is apparently over by the hairsbreadth of the last quarter, the real belt tightening is only just beginning. Dentistry, with which I am most familiar, is still getting used to this idea. I come across practice owners, and an even greater proportion of associates, who still have their heads in the sand. Change has to come, the state will not continue to put the food on your plate, having effectively stolen the goodwill from many general dental practices it is now starting to squeeze the pips out of those left “in”.
If General Medical Practice is going to be forced into the changes below just imagine what is planned for dentistry.
This article is from Pulse Online, you can read the full article here.
GP consultation length faces cut by a third as ‘financial meltdown’ looms.
NHS chiefs have drawn up proposals to slash the length of GP appointments by a third as they plan for across-the-board budget cuts.
The idea has been mooted by NHS London, which has been receiving advice from the management consultancy firm McKinsey on how to make huge efficiency savings in the face of the impending funding squeeze. But BMA leaders have warned the proposals show GP services are heading towards ‘financial meltdown.’
NHS London plans include:
• A 33% cut in the length of GP appointment times
• Cutting the number of people going to hospital accident and emergency departments by 60% and the number going to hospital outpatients by 55%.
• Millions of patients being diverted to so-called polysystems or clinics that have not yet been built, with £1.1bn cut from hospital budgets across London
• A 66% reduction in staffing of non-acute services, these include community services for older people and district nurses.
The ‘London’s NHS on the Brink’ report, prepared for the BMA by John Lister, information director at London Health Emergency, accuses NHS London of a lack of transparency in the way it has drawn up its plans to respond to the expected freeze on NHS budgets from 2011. The report claims NHS London has refused Freedom of Information Act requests to release a confidential report drawn up for them by McKinsey, effectively denying interested parties any opportunity to scrutinise its underlying assumptions or supporting evidence. etc
The only people who are looking forward to this are lawyers, one of THE most important things to patients is time. In his book Blink, Malcolm Gladwell wrote of research by Wendy Levinson and Alice Burkin. Burkin, a litigation lawyer, said that doctors who take time are least likely to get sued. Levinson showed that surgeons who had never been sued spent on average 20% longer with their patients than their counterparts who had been sued.
If you haven’t read the book, next time you’re in a bookshop read the pages 39-43 of the paperback edition it’s fascinating.
So we’ll cut consultation times then, that’ll help everybody won’t it?