Written evidence submitted by Dr John Stocker (FGP0046)

 

General Practice is at a crossroads. Either we back away from the giant practice where Drs come in and do a shift before going home or we revert to a system with a named GP who knows his patients and looks after them through the generations.

 

The death knell was first sounded when single handed practice was considered ‘past its sell by date’. Dr Shipman was not a construct of Single Handed Practice but an evil man who should have been caught earlier if other GPs in larger practices had had their wits about them.

 

If we move to giant practices, then there is no reason why GPs should continue as self-employed, rather, as individuals succumbing to the greater organisation, they should be PAYE and salaried and managed. That is, if you believe that continuity has no value. That there is no benefit that the person you first spoke to about your depression or your poorly baby is there the next day or the next week or next year to help with the crises of life and of the ups and downs of family health.

 

There is a place for the individual’s advocate rather than the Public Health motivated modern apparatchik GP. Instead, a GP who knows his/her patients, the area they live, the parents and grandparents and how they all fit together and is not frightened to ‘go out to bat’ for their interests and benefits! I would certainly like one as I retire from Family Practice and enter older age, both for me and my children and grandchildren.

 

Dec 2021