Our Thoughts on Health Minister’s New Plan
In our line of work, we regularly speak to people who were unable to access the care they needed soon enough, or who were misdiagnosed, and we know that the consequences of both can be devastating.
We’re pleased to hear that the Plan for Patients has put an emphasis on access to GP appointments and quicker routes to diagnosis. But we’re also aware that even two weeks (the time limit to be put in place for patients to receive an appointment) can make the difference between a disease being easily treatable or more serious.
Dr Scriven, the former president of the Society for Acute Medicine has stated that the plan to have better access to GPs will only be successful with “a plan for resilience”. We also recognise that changes will need to be made in the long-term that address workforce and capacity issues in order for primary care to improve over time.
We’ve spoken in the past about ambulance delays within the NHS and we were glad to see that this is one of the priorities laid out in the new Plan for Patients.
Ambulance delays are largely caused by queues at A&E departments, meaning that the number of ambulances available is significantly reduced. The consequences of this can be devastating and we know of multiple cases where patients have died whilst waiting for an ambulance to arrive.
We hope that the Health Minister’s new Plan for Patients is a step in the right direction for improving patient services. But we’ll monitoring the situation closely to see how the proposals work in reality.