to think this is stupid?

(15 Posts)
BengalCatMum Wed 20-Jul-16 14:19:49

NHS targets 'ghost patients' who don't go to the GP (ie. last 5 years)
www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-36828745

In effect they are targeting healthy people who obviously don't turn up for minor issues, (such as cold ect.) in order to reduce overall funding to a practice.

AIBU to think this is a seriously stupid idea?

19lottie82 Wed 20-Jul-16 14:32:07

I don't know....... 5 years is a seriously long time for someone not to visit a GP. How any of these people will have moved from the area ect?

A lot of people who need a GP can't even get one due to waiting lists.

I think of someone hasn't been to a GP for 5 years, YABU. If it was a shorter proof of time then I wouldn't say YWBU, but 5 years seems adequate.

facepalming Wed 20-Jul-16 14:38:13

I don't see the problem? if you are alive and well then you just let them know.

I think they should make an allowance for anyone noted as vulnerable though

NeedMoreSleepOrSugar Wed 20-Jul-16 14:39:09

From what I understand of it, they'll write to people who haven't seen their doctor in five years, but all they need to do to stay on the gp list is to reply to the letter. If that's the case it wouldn't bother me

useyourimagination Wed 20-Jul-16 14:39:54

Is this for people who haven't seen a GP only? Because I haven't seen my GP for at least 5 years, possibly longer, but I do go to the nurse regularly for smears. Am I a ghost patient?

Ivorbig1 Wed 20-Jul-16 14:42:58

Seems ur to me.
So you are healthy and don't need the doctor, then you are rewarded by being struck off. Great idea!
Can't they tell how many "ghost patient" they have and make allowances for new patients based on the fact.

Muskateersmummy Wed 20-Jul-16 14:43:15

They aren't targeting well patients. If you are well, you reply to the letter saying that you wish to remain on their register. If you have died or moved house, you won't reply and so will be removed. It seems pretty sensible to me.

wigglesrock Wed 20-Jul-16 14:47:36

I was at the GP a few months ago, my previous visit had been 5 years previously (6 week chat after baby was born). It stuck in my mind because the GP pointed it out - just in a general chatty way. I've been to the practice with the kids including quite a few appointments with dd2 but I haven't been ill enough myself to see GP. I wouldn't mind sending a reply slip etc back but it's not that strange not to see a GP for five years is it? I think my husband has maybe only been once or twice in 5 years, my dd3 has been once maybe twice and she's 5 and a half.

BengalCatMum Wed 20-Jul-16 14:49:05

Hmm yes I see what you mean.

I got deleted for an unknown reason in 2010, and reading this thought this may be why. I hadn't been to the doctors for a long time. Not sure was 5 years though, thought it was around 3 - so maybe wasn't because of this.

Well maybe would be good to encourage people to go for a general health check more regularly if not ill. I don't know if thats something GPs do; I just go when I am ill, or think something is wrong.

Anyway Thanks everyone

BengalCatMum Wed 20-Jul-16 14:50:17

muskateer
If their is letter it is great; I just got deleted with no letter so it didn't even occur to me. But obviously would be sensible and make the whole idea sensible too.

Arfarfanarf Wed 20-Jul-16 14:50:31

Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

From the article

"patients removed from GP lists unless they responded to warning letters."

So all you do is respond to a letter saying yes, I'm still here, yes keep me on your list.

And nothing happens. You stay on the list and if you ever need to see the GP, you go.

I don't understand the problem. They won't be punished for being well, they will be removed from a list if they do not respond to minimally two letters. That's personal responsibility. If you get a letter telling you to confirm you still want to be registered and you don't do it - that's on you.

Obviously this should not apply to people who for whatever reason cannot respond. There should be an exclusion for this but generally people who cannot manage their own affairs are likely to have gp or other agency involvement.

Topseyt Wed 20-Jul-16 14:51:24

You surely just reply to the letter saying simply that you remain alive and kicking, still live in the area and have simply not needed to see a doctor recently. You still want to remain registered.

I haven't had any such letters thankfully, but out of this family of five two (DD2 and DH) have probably gone at least 5 years without needing to see the GP.

arethereanyleftatall Wed 20-Jul-16 14:55:01

I haven't been to the gp for 5 years. Have never been at all apart from the required stuff when pregnant/just after.
It seems unfair to possibly strike me off, if I miss the warning, for this!

arethereanyleftatall Wed 20-Jul-16 14:57:33

Oh, actually read thread now. All fine then!

OurBlanche Wed 20-Jul-16 14:58:02

It seems logical to me and great basis for keeping their records clean:

Every 5 years they send out a letter: Hello, we haven't seen or heard form you inn 5 years. Could you conform that you still need to be registered with us [quick round up of the rules regarding where you can register]. Many thanks, Your Busy G Surgery.

No response means they remove you from their list.

If you suddenly turn up alive but not so well, they will re-register you... or send you to where you can be registered.

It isn't tragic, mean, nasty, uncaring, outrageous, or any of the other less polite descriptions I have seen elsewhere.

Ivor you'd think so, but the juggernaut that is the NHS doesn't allow removals, common sense decisions about GP lists... mainly because they are what GPs payments are based on.

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