Today I have been reading Tweets and newspaper articles accusing GPs of hiding behind telephone appointments and failing to meet the needs of their patients, particularly the elderly and frail. It hasn’t taken long for the national press to change from championing our NHS heroes to berating them for a lack of care.
Those of you who believe in taking a more balanced view of the contribution made by UK doctors should visit
The list at the bottom of this article is of the UK doctors who died of covid in the line of duty. Amongst those named are sixteen GPs. The GPs who died had an average age of over 67 years, and there is a disproportionate representation of back and ethnic minorities in this list.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” John 15:13
These GPs stayed on past retirement or returned to work to help and protect our UK citizens. Those that are left behind are battling to care for a growing population with a falling number of co-working as according to the Nuffield Trust “Across the UK, the number of GPs relative to the size of the population has fallen in a sustained way for the first time since the 1960s”
GPs are also human beings dealing with the stress and trauma that they have experienced over the last several months, along with abuse from patients, and the press.
If the general public wants improved accessibility to GPs for face-to-face appointments we need more GPs, and who is going to see this as an attractive career?
Without the use of phone and digital consultations, the ever-decreasing pool of GPs would find it even harder to meet patient needs. The world of primary care medicine is changing in order to meet changing demands, this might be less than perfect for some, but GPs are not the enemy, they are the ones trying to meet the needs of more patients with less staff.
UK Doctors who died of covid-19
Ref: BMJ Covid Memorial