Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 15°C

Search
Suffolk Business Awards 2018 Tickets

‘Wheels are falling off the NHS bus’, warns Suffolk GP

PUBLISHED: 18:09 03 January 2018 | UPDATED: 18:09 03 January 2018

Dr Matt Piccaver, who has been a GP for seven years and a doctor for 12 years, said the changing nature of the population was putting more pressure on the health service than ever before. Picture: LYNNE CAMERON/PA WIRE

Dr Matt Piccaver, who has been a GP for seven years and a doctor for 12 years, said the changing nature of the population was putting more pressure on the health service than ever before. Picture: LYNNE CAMERON/PA WIRE

A Suffolk GP has called for more funding for the NHS, as winter pressures take hold of all parts of the health service.

Dr Matt Piccaver, who has been a GP for seven years and a doctor for 12 years, said the changing nature of the population was putting more pressure on the health service than ever before.

But a number of other factors played into the crisis seen in the last few days, where ambulances queued for hours at A&E departments and operations were cancelled.

Dr Piccaver, 39, said when the NHS started the population was smaller and it was used as a safety net.

“Now things are different,” he said. “Now [the population] is bigger, and it’s older.

Dr Matt Piccaver. Picture: SUFFOLK GP FEDERATION Dr Matt Piccaver. Picture: SUFFOLK GP FEDERATION

“We’ve got under-funding in the NHS, it’s understaffed, staff are working a capacity every day.

“Yesterday I worked from 8am to 10pm, that’s a typical day. The door shuts at 6pm but there are still things to do. I was the only doctor in the building and some people are really quite ill.

“We try to offer gold standard but yesterday I thought ‘man alive’.

“I asked some friends and colleagues [how things were] and the few that had time to reply said it’s grim everywhere. Patients expect brilliance and we can’t give it to them.

“The NHS has always been held together by the goodwill of staff. Because if you don’t do it, who is going to?”

Dr Piccaver said he did not usually have to admit patients to hospital, but yesterday (Tuesday) he did.

In a series of tweets he said: “The hospital was full but my patients [were] accepted. There was an estimated 10-hour wait for the ambulance.”

He added: “What is clear now is the wheels are falling off the bus. Without staff and appropriate funding we won’t have an NHS much longer.”

On Christmas Eve, Dr Piccaver said he worked a shift in A&E and although there had been routine appointments available at his surgery during the day, there were patients at A&E who did not need to be there.

“But the other side of it is we have got a fragmented out of hours system,” he said. “We’ve got NHS 111 who are risk adverse, we’ve had ambulances sent out by them when it wasn’t needed.”

He said to run an effective service it was necessary to have clinically-experienced people speaking to patients.

“That is what you get with GP streaming,” he said.

“GPs know who needs to come in or not. But they are instead trained call handlers following an algorithm.”

He added: “We’ve got a health and social care system which is underfunded, they want more care in the community but there’s no funding for it.”

Dr Piccaver also pointed to problems with recruitment. He said when his partner joined his practice in Glemsford, Suffolk, there were 200 applicants for the job.

But since his partner retired last year, he had not been able to fill the position.

He said: “I think morale in primary care has been quite poor for some years.”

Although he admitted a proportion of the problem in primary care was people made appointments when they did not need them, Dr Piccaver said: “Blaming the patient is not useful.

“I think we need to look at health and social care from start to finish, we need to improve preventative measures. We need to improve the health of our younger people.

“We need government to work cross party, with experts in the health care to help run the NHS.”

His message to patients was: “I’m sorry we can’t do better for you.”

He added: “We are all working flat out, I don’t know anybody who is not tired, but I’m sorry we can’t do more.”

Multi-million pound plans to create a pioneering institute of technology in East Anglia have leapt forward, it can be revealed today.

Passengers on Greater Anglia trains are facing huge delays – until the end of the day – due to damage to overhead lines in Essex.

A former Ipswich mayor has welcomed news of an annual Windrush Day celebration – but said it won’t compensate for the treatment of those affected by the ‘hostile environment’ immigration policy.

Framlingham singer Ed Sheeran has been spotted wearing an Ipswich Town shirt at his latest gig in London.

An annual fundraising event took place under a new name this year but with the usual level of huge support to help raise more than £105,000 for charity.

These days I often forget why I’ve come into the kitchen, but take me to a Steps concert and I can remember every word from my teens.

Young patients who have finished chemotherapy at Ipswich Hospital can now ring a special bell to celebrate the end of their treatment and mark the start of the next chapter of their lives.

Highways England have released a full list of the work they will be carrying out on our roads this week.

The last seven months have brought a wealth of new experiences for Leia Dowsing as she continues on her journey to becoming a police detective.

MPs in Suffolk and Essex are pressing Greater Anglia and Network Rail for answers after repairs to a cracked track caused severe disruption on the line to London this week.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24