Glamorgan Star - Monthly Column
NHS and care staff - and many others, have done a phenomenal job throughout the Covid pandemic. Changes to NHS and care patterns were inevitable but the time has come to restart 1:1 consultations and a more ‘normal’ form of health care.
While waiting lists grow longer and patients and GP’s become more worried about their conditions, we need to enable better access to our front-line health professionals. Many constituents have highlighted that they are wary of using video conferencing or telephone consultations to explain their medical condition. Some GP practices are almost back to normal, but others seem more reluctant.
We all greatly appreciate the hard work GPs and other front-line staff have conducted throughout the pandemic and we owe them a great deal of thanks. With this in mind, we need to encourage GP surgeries to return to as near a normal working pattern as possible. We need a consistent approach whereby patients and GPs are supported by clear guidance from the Local Health Boards. here are significant differences across practices.
The pandemic as well as the extra housing in the Vale has greatly increased pressure on services. GP surgeries in Dinas Powys for example are taking on an extra 1100 patients following GP closures in Penarth and Cardiff. I have written to the Chief Executive of the Local Health Board to seek assurances that the quality of care will not be reduced as a result of the increased numbers.
Last Friday was also World Cancer Day and the Glamorgan Star are highlighting the incredibly valuable work of Marie Curie. These will rightly prompt more patients to seek help. This will mean workloads will increase further. We need to understand pressures and in return, GP’s need to facilitate access to consultations.
We need to return to pre pandemic normality with face-to-face healthcare and encourage people to approach their GP to get screened or checked. I want to support the NHS and its fantastic hardworking staff especially through what has been a totally unprecedented period.