Pay to call your doc?

I think phoning my doctor would be a great service innovation. I have to make an appointment using a stupidly complex system that leaves the receptionists angry and me frustrated. The doctor and I then have to be at the surgery at the same time, normally during my working hours. The appointment is usually over in no time. With a two year old who can communicate through shouts and screams, this happens quite regularly.

I could call NHS Direct, but you have to go through all those questions every time. The great thing about your GP is the continuity of care. They know your history, so can get straight to the point. So let me pick up the phone at an agreed time in the day, or perhaps leave a voicemail for a ring back. But let me use the phone. If at the end the GP says “you better come in” then that’s great. I’ll make an appointment. But let me have the service option. It would be good.

They’re doing it in America, but then – they’re also charging people for the privilege. Not something we can do here with the NHS. Although I bet BUPA are working on something right now…

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