Campaigners have slammed Britain’s top GP after he defiantly dismissed calls to give all patients the right to face-to-face care

Campaigners have slammed Britain’s top GP after he defiantly dismissed calls to give all patients the right to face-to-face care.

Professor Martin Marshall, chair of the Royal College of GPs, yesterday told MPs that patients who ‘absolutely need’ to be in the same room as their doctor are still being seen.

But Covid safety measures and sky-high demand mean it is not possible to offer in-person consultations to people simply because they would ‘like’ one. 

Professor Marshall said it was an impossible ambition to deliver and insisted the rate of online consultations, via telephone or judi slot online, is ‘about right’.

Just over half of all GP appointments are now carried out in-person, NHS figures show.

Grilled by MPs on the Health and Social Care Committee about the lack of face-to-face appointments, he also admitted that the traditional concept of a full-time GP was dying.

He said it was ‘something we won’t see again’, saying that three-day weeks for family doctors are here to stay.

Professor Marshall also claimed that part-time GPs were still working 12 hours days under ‘intense pressure’ and that adding any more to their pile could be dangerous for patients. 

Professor Marshall said: ‘General practice across the board introduced remoted working in two to three weeks in March of last year, so it’s hardly surprising that it’s taken time for clinicians and patients to get used to it.

‘But I do suspect patients will get used to it.

I don’t think we’ll go back to 80 per cent of consultations at general practices being face to face.’

But last night, Dennis Reed, from Silver Voices — a campaign group for the over-60s which is demanding a legal right for patients to have a face-to-face appointments — hit back at Professor Marshall. 

He accused the GP of ‘shrugging his shoulders and surrendering before the battle is over’. 

Mr Reed added: ‘He needs to keep on fighting for more resources so we can all get the care we need.’

Martin Marshall, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, told MPs that patients who ‘absolutely need' to be in the same room as their doctor are being seen

Martin Marshall, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, told MPs that patients who ‘absolutely need' to be in the same room as their doctor are being seen

Francine Jury spent 28 minutes repeatedly calling her surgery before reaching the receptionist

Francine Jury spent 28 minutes repeatedly calling her surgery before reaching the receptionist

Martin Marshall (left), chairman of the Royal College of GPs, told MPs that patients who ‘absolutely need’ to be in the same room as their doctor are being seen. Right: Francine Jury spent 28 minutes repeatedly calling her surgery before reaching the receptionist

In-person appointments began to increase last summer, before dropping again during the second wave. Despite being on the rise, the figures are still much lower than pre-pandemic levels

In-person appointments began to increase last summer, before dropping again during the second wave. Despite being on the rise, the figures are still much lower than pre-pandemic levels

In-person appointments began to increase last summer, before dropping again during the second wave.

Despite being on the rise, the figures are still much lower than pre-pandemic levels

Up to March 2020, around 80 per cent of all appointments across England were in-person, but this dropped to 46.8 per cent last April and has not risen above 57 per cent since

Up to March 2020, around 80 per cent of all appointments across England were in-person, but this dropped to 46.8 per cent last April and has not risen above 57 per cent since

Up to March 2020, around 80 per cent of all appointments across England were in-person, but this dropped to 46.8 per cent last April and has not risen above 57 per cent since

<div class="art-ins mol-factbox floatRHS news" data-version="2" id="mol-712f3e30-1b83-11ec-b1fc-812fb8cbbeb9" website top GP says face-to-face appointments WON&apos;T go back to old levels

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