Have you visited your GP in the last 5 years?

image
Print Friendly

Patients could be struck off GP surgery lists after five years of no contact.

Patients face being removed from GP surgery lists if they do not contact their doctor for five years as part of an NHS drive to save money.

A patient who has been out of touch for that long will receive two letters, and if they do not respond, they will be taken off their GP’s list.

NHS England bid to save money on ‘ghost patients’ is criticised by GP leaders saying key groups could lose access to a doctor.

NHS England says the scheme will ensure that it does not waste vital funds by paying GPs about £100 a year for looking after “ghost patients” – those who have died, moved away or no longer want their local surgery’s services. But GP leaders have asked for the initiative to be scrapped and warned that it will lead to patients being excluded for no good reason and deprive surgeries of money they need to keep running.

What are your views on this proposed initiative? Will this affect you or your family? Does this potentially penalise the fortunate healthy ones? When did you last visit your GP?

Have you visited your GP in the last 5 years?

607 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

What are your views?

We'd love to hear your comments

Not a member?

Join the silversurfers community today! It's free, easy to do, and is packed full of features and amazing offers!

Join the community!
Click here if you have forgotten your password
Hillyj
8th Aug 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
Rather than penalise us who are fit and don't have the need to visit the doctor for every twinge, shouldn't we be praised for not wasting the doctors time and the NHS's funds. I haven't seen my doctor for about 10 years and am sure just going for the sake of it is a complete waste of time - if I was unwell and needed help I would ask for it.
jeanmark
27th Jul 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
Pussk2 GPs are paid on the basis of the number of patients registered with their practice and also receive payments for specific activities, maternity care, vaccinations, including out-of-hours etc. and thus without patients they wouldn't receive pay and possibly be unable to provide an NHS service. This is a very simplistic explanation of a quite complex system but does explain the emphasis now being put on 'ghost' patients.

You are right in believing that people over 60 and those with certain other chronic health problems such as diabetes, COPD, on medications that can affect their immune system etc. are advised to have a 'flu jab each year to try and prevent the severe complications (including death) of the strain of flu predicted for that year but there are a number of people who don't take take up this free offer for what ever reason. I'm more in favour of prevention.
Pussk2
27th Jul 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
Just a thought, but shouldn't all over 60's or is it 65's be getting flu jabs every year? In which case this probably doesn't affect most people on this site. No GPs shouldn't get paid just for having patients on their lists. Maybe some bright person could come up with an app to remind us to re register every 5 years. May be I should keep quiet as I am at the surgery every month for tablets and see my GP at least 2 times a year as I have quite a few health problems.
jeanmark
27th Jul 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
MaureenE, whilst appreciating you are entitled to your views on what is offered by GP practices just be grateful you are in a position to refuse something that is offered free to patients. Many peoples lives have been saved by taking advantage of such screenings. If you choose to refuse such services that is you decision, fortunately there are people who recognise the importance of these and take advantage of something not offered in many countries. A great deal of research over the years has shown that monitoring patients who have the potential to develop certain conditions can save the NHS millions and most GP's do not have the time or resources to offer these for no particular reason other than to receive a small fee.
MaureenE
23rd Jul 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
I was taken off the doctors list 10 years ago . I went to get a required injection for a trip to mexico.I was told I had been taken off the list and had to reregister. I had not moved house. I never received a letter. I have not been back since . But I wonder if they have done it again. I have no proof but I feel it was maybe because I do not rush for every test and "mot" they offer because they recieve a fee for every approved test (cholesterol Diabetes etc ) that they make. Only an observation!
jeanmark
24th Jul 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
Did you ask them why you had been taken of their list without being informed and why do you believe it has happened again? If you strongly believe you are being discriminated against by not responding to services they offer why not report them?
scandiman
23rd Jul 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
With my GP, you phone at 8am and join a queue. You will be lucky to be seen within two weeks. If you can't get appointment, you go to surgery and wait. It is common to wait more than three hours. Blood tests are frequently cancelled because the nurse has once again called in sick. Our nearest hospital is seventeen miles. Waiting in A+E for treatment is usually four to six hours. In all areas of health provision in my locality, there is a chronic shortage of staff, and too many people trying to access the service.
It is not unreasonable for GPs to contact those they haven't seen for some time to ascertain if they are (a) still alive and (b) still in the area. I believe we need to pay more. We also need to look at the huge number of people in admin. Does NHS need so many highly paid executives? They also should examine the many cases where work is duplicated and the unnecessary waste caused by the failure of different departments to communicate with each other.
Lionel
21st Jul 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
Let's get some reality into this rather flabby discussion! I hope jeanmark, a 47 year health professional would support me, at least in part.

This is sold to us as a cost saving exercise, to make the NHS leaner and more efficient. It's nothing of the sort. It's another bureaucratic lie! This will cost more to implement than will ever be saved.

Think about it. Within a month of each doctor's surgery or medical centre being polled the list of 'missing' patients will be growing again. So next year, Capita will need to be employed again to repeat the exercise. And it will roll on. Year after year. Nice little earner!

Let's look at Capita. They were contracted alongside ATOS to weed out malingerers claiming incapacity benefits. What did they do? An example from the UK press. Tell a man with no arms he could use a computer keyboard! I did say let's get some reality in this discussion?

This exercise is about reducing the income of doctor's surgeries and medical centres. If that happens there will be fewer doctors, fewer practice nurses (I wouldn't mind that in our local practice, as the practice nurse is an absolute dragon!). But if their income diminishes, then so do the services they may offer us. We'll get NHS but lite. Is that what we want?

I say again on this thread, if we want cradle to grave, round the clock medical care, then we must pay for it. Continuing health throughout life doesn't come cheap. If we're over fifty, and most of us are, then our needs increase as the years roll by. We demand more from the NHS.

All of us, those just entering the work place and those of us departing it, must pay more.

I think it was Dorothy Parker who said, 'there's no such thing as a free lunch.' Given her riposte was more about bedding the person offering her a much, she spoke a truth, none the less.

One get's what is paid for, well, in this life. We're all going to have to pay more and that way give Capita the boot and we remain on doctor's rolls.
jeanmark
22nd Jul 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
A voice of reason, yes Lionel I do support what you have said. Although I do support Ceb's belief that GP's have to be accountable for what happens in their practices they should not be dictated to by NHS England.
jeanmark
21st Jul 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
Annie65, the question isn't about patients leaving a practice without informing the GP practice, it's about NHS England trying to introduce a scheme whereby any one who hasn't seen their GP for 5 years will be sent two letters informing them that if they don't respond they will be removed from that GP's register. GP's are against this scheme as they recognise that patients could be excluded for no good reason other than the fact they haven't been ill enough to require their services or even overlook the reason the letter has been sent. The issue is being led by NHS England not GP's or the local Health Authorities.
Annie65
21st Jul 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
When a patient leaves one GP practice and registers with another, their medical record is automatically sent to that practice. I work in a GP practice - letters are not sent out by us to people who have not seen a GP for 5 years - they are sent by the local Health Authority. GP' s have got such a heavy workload that they don't have time to track patients.. it is the patient's responsibility to reply to the letters - and if they don't they are excluded.. common sense!
Pam1960
21st Jul 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
I visited the doctor 3 months ago. That was my first visit in just under 5 years. Why would I visit my GP if I wasn't I'll. I have the usual colds, aches and pains and allergies that everyone has but I buy over the counter remedies. If I need to see a GP I will. Having to visit a GP or risk being taken off the register is ridiculous. It is hard enough to get appointments when you are Ill never mind what it would be like if all the healthy people visited as well
Lionel
22nd Jul 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
Pam, that's just the place I'm in. Brought up to visit a doctor when absolutely necessary.

I too have the usual aches and pains, and some arthritis from years of farm work. We run three Border Collies, and I manage a very large food garden. We eat lightly, but well. We also boost our diets with vitamin supplements. Apart from from wife having MS, the early stages, we're fit and well.

Neither of us see a need to bother a doctor. We're quite sure there are others out there who need them more than we do, well, at the moment.
ceb
20th Jul 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
Why shouldn't gp's be accountable - everyone else is !
The payment system for them is pretty ludicrous anyway, so why should they be paid for patients who no longer require their services ?
jeanmark
21st Jul 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
Ceb, it has nothing to do with GP accountability or about patients no longer requiring their services. Do you suggest that a person who is responsible by registering with a GP be penalised for not being ill?
ceb
21st Jul 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
Not at all - I'm suggesting that gp's should not be paid for patients that no longer exist - 'ghost patients', which is currently happening.
GP's are no different from anyone else in the NHS - money is tight, so they too must be accountable.
jeanmark
21st Jul 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
OK, I understand and agree with that. However, depending on your definition, GP's may not be aware of 'ghost patients' unless you are suggesting they (in 2014 there where 35,561 registered GP's in England) are all being fraudulent in claiming for patients that do not exist? I would find that difficult to believe.

I have a number of years experience of trying to discharge patients who have recovered from a serious illness only to find they are not registered with a GP to monitor their post-discharge needs. If NHS England introduces their scheme this could increase problems if a patient is removed from a practice because they haven't required a GP practices service for over five years.

I fully agree that GP's should be accountable for what happens in their practice which is why they employ practice managers. They are already accountable in law for their actual medical practice!
ceb
21st Jul 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
I don't think we're actually disagreeing !
I too have many years experience of working in the NHS & whilst not suggesting that all 35,561 gp's are being fraudulent, all of them must be accountable for their practice, financial or otherwise.
Wilf
20th Jul 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
WE need more efficiency in the NHS. Its getting too large but lets face it keeping healthy is the most important part of life so we need to keep the funding and the efficiency. This seems sensible to me
Alicia
20th Jul 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
Unfortunately I would never be able to go five years without a visit to my GP, I wish I could !
elisabeth
20th Jul 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
Twice in the last thirty years,neither visit was any help wharsoever
Lionel
20th Jul 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
This a is a cost saving exercise requested by NHS England and to be carried out by Capita, the out-sourcing giant often employed by the state. Along with Atos they were a big part of the complete lash up of re-assessing disabled people and their suitability for work.

We should have confidence, then. The GP lists are to be in good hands!

When are we going to realise a National Health Service on the cheap just isn't going to happen.

No amount of nips, tucks, penny pinching or slash and burn policies will make the least bit of difference. If we wish the NHS to once again be a world beater, then we're going to have to pay for it. I'd willing pay a little more tax if for one moment I believed any government would apply the entirety of that extra take directly to the NHS. But they won't. It would end up in the General Taxation pool. That's the nature of the Exchequer.

We all now have too high an expectation of the NHS. Yet it seems we are unwilling to pay for that expectation to one day be met.

Perhaps the most efficient solution to all the NHS funding difficulties would be to divorce it from government, along with Education and the Police Service. Let each set a budget for the coming year and it must be met by the State, no matter what! But it won't happen any time soon. Whitehall needs political footballs which are in effect their whipping boys!
jeanmark
20th Jul 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
Lionel
20th Jul 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
Thank you jeanmark. I speak with fifty years of conviction. My mother was laid very low with both Osteo and Rheumatoid arthritis around her 40th birthday in 1966. Although she would never again walk unaided, and in later life became bed ridden, I cannot fault NHS people for their care and attention to my mother over so many years.

It was St Mary Abbot's hospital in Kensington, then a large cottage hospital. My father could well afford private medical attention, and arranged it. Within a month my mother, a feisty lady at the best of times, put herself back in the care of St Mary Abbott's.

Some of my experiences with the NHS have been less than satisfactory yet I cannot easily this evening say a bad word. Except perhaps, to reflect on Prince Philip's words when asked by a reporter, how he managed to reach ninety four? 'Kept out of the way of bloody doctors.' For my wife and I that means much self help and taking responsibility for our own welfare.

But the NHS is in the background.
jeanmark
20th Jul 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
I understand Jo Kingham what you mean but what of those people who don't respond to the letter as they don't understand the rationale for it being sent. It would be great if everyone was a responsible person and informed practices when they moved away, unfortunately there a a large number of people who do not fall into that category. I do not have an answer to the question but I note GP's are concerned if this is introduced by NHS England and they are the experts on care provision in the community not NHS England.
Jo Kingham
20th Jul 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
I think one of the problems is people move away and don't de-register. This makes it look like surgeries are full when actually they aren't, people then get upset as they cant get into their local practice. I don't see what the problem is as long as you respond to the letter they send then you still stay on their books.
jeanmark
20th Jul 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
It makes a mockery of why you are encouraged to register with a GP practice and this when they are trying to stop people attending A&E departments instead going to see their GP. If you are young and healthy why would you need to see a GP unless for a non-life threatening reason i.e. sprained ankle, Trigger finger etc. or will they expect people to pretend they are ill (there are enough of those already). GP practices are finding it difficult to cope as it is without having to see otherwise healthy people just because they want to remain registered! Having to send two letters will surely add to the workload and there will always be those who ignore such letters as that won't necessarily understand the rationale behind it being sent
Suzie59
20th Jul 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
But surely this will just increase numbers of unnecessary appointments being made to ensure you aren't removed, taking up more of the doctors valuable time.
JohnHerb
20th Jul 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
The type of people who do not inform their local surgery are the ones who cause mayhem and bureaucracy. On the other hand if people do not see the doctor the NHS should be delighted. What do they care? It makes their lives easier

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!

More Speakers Corner

Do you boil your Brussels? Cleaned brussel sprouts on a wooden cutting board with exterior leaves and a knife.
Brussels sprouts are a Christmas dinner must have but not to everyone likes them. You'll be...
Real or Artificial - What kind of Christmas tree will you have? Fresh cut Christmas trees
Each Christmas there is a ‘debate’ over real versus artificial Christmas trees. The...
Do you agree with Cryogenic Preservation? Excess smoky nitrogen gas discharge during filling of a liquid nitrogen dewar.
This week it was announced that a very brave 14 year old girl who had terminal cancer had won...
Should shops remain closed on Boxing Day? Boxing Day Sale cinnamon star on green wood concept.
A petition calling for a ban on shops opening on Boxing Day has attracted close to 194,000...
Will you be sending Christmas cards this year? Bracknell, England - October 28th, 2014: Vintage style Christmas cards. Modern cards originated from a printing in 1843 instigated by Sir Henry Cole, director of London's Victoria and Albert Museum.
The custom of sending Christmas cards was started in the UK in 1843 by Sir Henry Cole. He was a...
Do you still use cheques as payment? Signing a blank cheque with a fountain pen
** Note: Shallow depth of field
Cheques books have been used in the UK for over 350 years but they are now on the decline. In...
Are you surprised that Donald Trump won? Saint Louis, MO, USA - March 11, 2016: Donald Trump addresses supporters at the Peabody Opera House in Downtown Saint Louis
After months of campaigning, debating, mud slinging and scandals, the Americans have voted and...
Do you mind the gap? toblerone
The makers of Toblerone, Mondelez, have taken the decision to widen the gaps between the...
Should Nigel Farage be ennobled in the House of Lords? LONDON, UK - MAY 1, 2016: Nigel Farage seen arriving at the BBC to attend the Andrew Marr show
There are calls for Nigel Farage to be made a Lord and take his place as a peer in the upper...
Should the FA defy the poppy ban? poppy
England are due to host Scotland at a World Cup qualifying match at Wembley on November 11 ...
Who would you trust more to be the next US President? LONDON UK - MARCH 3RD 2016: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump pin badges over the American flag symbolizing their battle to become the next President of the United States 3rd March 2016.
With the latest results today from ABC/Washington Post tracking poll, now showing Donald Trump...
Should the UK have a complete ban on selling Ivory products? ivoryburn2 900x600
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, chef come wildlife campaigner, has been looking into the shocking...
Do you think Princess Beatrice and Eugenie should be given royal duties? London UK - June 17 2006: Princess Eugenie (left) and Princess Beatrice seating on the Royal Coach at Trooping the colour ceremony also known as the Queen's Birthday Parade
** Note: Slight blurriness, best at smaller sizes
It was revealed in the sunday papers that there is a nasty feud brewing between Prince Charles and...
Do you rake or vacuum? Yorkshire Dog on the autumn leaves blur
Autumn is in full swing, and the leaves are rapidly changing from luscious shades of green, to a...
Where do you think the extra runway should be built - Heathrow or Gatwick? Airplane touch down on runway during sunset
Since the 1970s various UK governments have been debating how to expand the UKs potential to...
Are the Government right to do a Pension U-turn? bigstock-Pensions-11274911
The government has done a huge U-turn on Pensions and scrapped the rights of 5 million pensioners...
Do city zoos still have a place in a modern society? gorilla in zoo
Last week’s incident at London Zoo, in which a male silverback gorilla escaped his enclosure...
Are hospital trusts cashing in on the sick? Ticket machine at the exit of a car park
Patients in England are being penalised with increasing parking charges with 30% of hospital...
Is BA trying to pull the wool over our eyes? BARCELONA SPAIN - DECEMBER 11: A British Airways Airbus A320 taking off on December 11 2014 in Barcelona. British Airways is the international airline of Great Britain with its headquarters in London.
Last week British Airways proudly announced that they will be partnering with Marks & Spencer...
Are we being ripped off? TERRY'S CHOCLATE ORANGE
It seems to happen every year now, that chocolate manufacturers start messing with our favourite...
If you were American would you vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton? July 27, 2016: Illustration showing Republican Donald Trump versus Democrat Hillary Clinton face-off for American president with words Election 2016 on isolated white background done in stencil retro art style.
Last night was the first of three of the big TV debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald...
Will you still watch The Great British Bake Off without Mary Berry? Mary Berry
Earlier this month we asked our Silversurfers should the  Great British Bake Off should remain...
Do you prefer the new £5 note? chuchill-sterling-note
A new plastic £5 note that features Sir Winston Churchill and can survive a spin in the washing...
Should all cats wear a bell-collar? Closeup frontal view of calico cat with its recently caught wild bird.
According to statistics, there are 8.1 million cats in the UK that kill 275 million "prey items...
Had you planned to retire earlier than you are now able to? Worried senior woman, an elderly pensioner counting utility bills at her home, concept of financial security in old age
Changes in 1995 and 2011 to the state pension age mean women born on or after April 6, 1951 can...
Blue or Burgundy passports? biometric passport on a page of visas
It has just been announced by a Home Office Minister that the old blue passports for UK residents...