Some while back there was a big re-organisation of the arrangements made by GPs to cover out of hours attendence. They were given the opportunity to elect themselves out of night and week-end duties. Perfectly right that they should decide between money and anti-social hours and a more relaxed home life. We here used to have a perfectly tuned night service that was already funded by the GPs and went under the name Borderdoc. I had to use it once and - as one who has little patience with medical matters - found it to be excellent. I am in favour of the idea that my normal GP has been properly rested and de-stressed when he sees me.
We here were put into the care of something called NHS 24 for our out of hours cover. This was some centrally administered call centre - surprisingly not out-sourced to the Indian sub-continent.
As time went on, it became apparent that we had jumped out of the tender arms of Borderdoc into the slavering jaws of a government agency. There were shortages of doctors, doctors who did not know where remote communities were, communication difficulties with local dialect. You name it - NHS 24 were cocking it up - I don't know about overall but certainly in the Scottish Borders. There were the usual bland responses - "It's new and needs time to settle down" which processed through blaming the IT resources to admitting "isolated" mistakes. Doctors were flown in from Europe rather like Saturday Girls at reputed cost of £600 per hour. New study groups are afoot to rectify what is now admitted as a rubbish response.
The foregoing just describes the work, annoyance and costs involved in this great Blue Sky, Out of The Box Thinking initiative.
So, today, Skippy Hewitt decides that she must ask GPs to put in more hours in the evenings and at week-ends. To make the medical services more efficient. So that people have better choice as to appointment arrangements to see a doctor. Little Fat Buddha, what on earth will this government come up with next in the Advancement of Rubbish Ideas?