Many local residents are concerned about GP services. One particular problem has been the difficulty some people have had in getting an appointment.
After listening to local residents, Douglas has now taken action to try to improve things in our part of Essex.
"Many local residents, including doctors, got in touch to express their concerns about GP cover" explains Douglas. "Local people have a right to expect action. As the local MP, I took a team of local GPs to meet health minister, Jeremy Hunt, in the summer. A series of changes are now underway and will help improve things" he added.
More local GPs in Tendring: There is a shortage of GPs in our area. Local NHS bosses are now looking at how to make it more attractive for GPs to work in local surgeries.A named GP for every patient over 75: New GP contracts will ensure everyone over the age of 75 gets a named, accountable GP to ensure that they have a strong, personal and regular relationship with their doctor.District nurses and better out of hours cover: Why can't people get to see a doctor on a Saturday? At the moment there is no incentive for many GPs to provide cover at evenings and weekends. Douglas is keen to encourage more out of hours cover. "Perhaps the way to do this is by ensuring that GPs have funding available to recruit more district nurses. Many patients could be seen by a district nurse in their own home, which would further remove the pressure on GP waiting rooms". Several GP surgeries have already started to do this. Scrap box ticking regulations: In order to get some revenue, GPs have to comply with rules and regulations known in the jargon as "QOF". Soon after meeting with the delegation of local GPs, Jeremy Hunt announced that almost half these rules will be scrapped.
"Doctors need to be free to get on with doing their job, and not having to tick boxes to get paid" said Douglas. "Removing these rules should give local GPs more time to spend examining patients".
Douglas adds "I am very determined that we see improvements in local primary health care provision. Many doctors find themselves in a really difficult position right now. Many patients are not getting the health care they have a right to expect. I am on their side, and determined that we see changes for the better."