Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 7 September 2016

The Socialist inbox

Do you have something to say?

Send your news, views and criticism in not more than 150 words to Socialist Postbox, PO Box 24697, London E11 1YD, phone 020 8988 8771 or email

We reserve the right to shorten and edit letters. Don't forget to give your name, address and phone number. Confidentiality will be respected if requested.

Views of letter writers do not necessarily match those of the Socialist Party.

Nurse injection healthcare NHS Employers (Creative Commons), photo NHS Employers (Creative Commons)

Nurse injection healthcare NHS Employers (Creative Commons), photo NHS Employers (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Long waits and service cuts at merged GP surgeries

A few months ago I went to my local village GP surgery, a place that's been there for decades. Intending to make an appointment, I found instead that the door was locked.

The only explanation was a very small notice in the window. It informed service users we would only be seen in the morning. From two months earlier, afternoon surgery services had been cancelled. No explanation was given.

This facility had been custom built in the early 1980s. Prior to that the two long-standing GPs, with ancillary services such as nurses, had operated from what was an old school next door. It wasn't perfect, but it was working - until recently, when both doctors retired after years of service.

Unable to recruit suitable replacements, the surgery merged with a neighbouring village practice twice the size. This merger created a single service that has flourished in the new regime of 'Clinical Commissioning Groups'. In fact, it is growing, merging with other practices.

I'm not entirely sure, beyond profit, what the purpose of creating this vast monopoly is.

The major players are running a private business simultaneously. They are not secretive about this, despite a clear conflict of interest - on the issue of time management if nothing else.

At least one GP has a habit of taking a long time with patients. Ordinarily this would not be a criticism - far from it. However, patients are booked to fit in as many an hour as possible. The upshot is that people are kept waiting, sometimes for hours.

There are simple solutions to this, but they fall on deaf ears. The reason is that booking more appointments - effectively cramming in patients who cannot possibly be seen in time - yields more income.

The hours cut has also had a knock-on effect on secondary services. As a mental health patient I was due to see an outside specialist using a room at the local surgery. Since the practice is shut half the time that was not possible, because the specialist was only available in the afternoons.

Last but not least, patients from any of the individual practice catchment areas can book appointments at any of the partner surgeries. Again this might sound positive. But in truth it means smaller surgeries, like mine, have a higher chance of having appointments going to non-residents.

This is a problem for patients who don't have the luxury of mobility, or the opportunity to pick and choose where to be seen. Jeremy Hunt and the Tories call this 'choice' - but choice is an illusion. What people really want is the best treatment available, to be seen locally, and to get better as quickly and bloodlessly as possible.

A Somerset Socialist Party member

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 7 September 2016:


#KeepCorbyn: build the movement against austerity

Break with Blairites essential to defeat split Tories

Should socialists give electoral support to Labour right?

#KeepCorbyn: reports from the campaign

Socialist Party news and analysis

Apple told to pay 11bn: nationalise all the tax dodgers!

Refugee crisis: for homes, jobs and services for all

Women lose out in the workplace

London bailiff use soars by half

Them & Us

What We Saw

TUC congress 2016

Organise mass working class resistance to austerity

International socialist news and analysis

Brazil: impeachment farce only serves big business

International news in brief

Workplace news and analysis

Junior doctors plan to continue contract struggle

Rail workers fighting back!

Premium pay cuts are not just any cuts, they are M&S cuts

Royal Mail wildcat strike against bullying bosses

Workplace news in brief

Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Letter: back the docs!

Socialism, black liberation and cricket - the life of CLR James

The Socialist inbox

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Huge turnout in support of Huddersfield NHS campaign

Grantham on the march against 'life and death' cuts to health service

London fighting fund BBQ success


Home   |   The Socialist 7 September 2016   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleThe Socialist Inbox


triangleEquity manifesto lays out anti-austerity model for arts

triangleHuge opposition to Barry rehab ward closure

triangleCynical Tories' domestic violence bill not enough

triangleBromley libraries strikers proved right

Mental health:

triangleTV: Young, British and Depressed - "What is wrong with our society that all these people are feeling this way?"

triangleWest London Socialist Party: The mental health crisis

triangleMidlands mental health workers walk out against privatisation


triangleLincolnshire health visitors strike

triangleUnison's retired members reflect growing anger


triangleReverse the GP cuts


triangleStop the fire service cuts


triangleA&E 4-hour waiting targets scrapped - Save our NHS!

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments



Film review: Joker - Sympathising with a monster created by today's incendiary conditions


Sexual harassment

Book review: She Said - Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement



The Socialist inbox


Socialist Party

Active and strong member of Socialist Party reaches 80



The Socialist Inbox



The Socialist inbox



Peterloo - fighting for democracy and a better life



Capitalist 'democracy' v socialist democracy



At 96 I'm more convinced of socialism than ever



The Socialist Inbox



The Socialist Inbox



Knife and gun crime a product of poverty and austerity



TV: Young, British and Depressed - "What is wrong with our society that all these people are feeling this way?"


Teaching assistants

Huge workload, low pay and unpaid hours - a day in the life of a teaching assistant



The Socialist inbox

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019