“GPs will never return to the pre Covid model we knew”.
So said a very senior medical professional to me on Thursday.
Covid has given the GPs two years away from seeing lots of patients face to face everyday.
Instead they have dealt with patients over the telephone etc.
This has been much less stressful for GPs and given them a new, easier relaxed lifestyle.
Many GPs have now gone on to a three day a week basic – again introducing them to less stress and more relaxation.
But the impact will be felt by patients – especially older, more sick and disabled patients. Seeing their doctor helped them not be so isolated.
Many of them are not great communicators on the telephone.
Many of them cannot use laptops or mobile phones for texting and emailing.
To get to see a GP now you’ve got to get past a battery of receptionists, practice managers, nurses and nurse specialists.
In a big practice you will not get to see the same doctor each time you visit – making the experience much more impersonal.
Most young doctors don’t want to be GPs any longer.
Many GPs are leaving general practice and indeed the NHS.
There is a worrying shortage of GPs.
Men are not becoming GPs. Most are now women.
I’m very worried about where General Practice / Primary is heading.
I’m worried about how it will affect all of us and medicine in general.