YEP Says, August 28: How to fix problem of lengthy waiting times just to see a GP

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...and a whale of a time’s guaranteed down at Leeds Dock

GIVEN the pressures on GP surgeries it is hardly surprising that people are clogging up already overstretched accident and emergency units rather than waiting a week or longer to see a doctor.

This bottleneck underlines why there is a need for greater urgency on the part of Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to widen the provision of out-of-hours care so that working people can attend their local surgery in the evenings, freeing up appointments for others during the day.

However, there are other options available to people before they turn in desperation to the nearest A&E department.

Walk-in centres, minor injury units and centres where you can see a GP without making an appointment are all viable options, as is a trip to the local pharmacist for advice.

The NHS 111 telephone service may not have been without its teething problems, but this too can provide important guidance. The problem is that these options are not given adequate publicity, leading increasing numbers to the door of A&E.

If this stampede cannot be halted, one solution would be a simplified system which saw this range of services housed under one roof at local hospitals.

Here, trained health professionals could operate a triage system that assessed cases in terms of their urgency and directed patients accordingly.

Whale of a time at Leeds Dock

IF the reborn Clarence Dock is to live up to its original billing from its launch way back in 2007, it needs to offer something different.

Having struggled for visitors before its rebranding as Leeds Dock under new owners, it now has to establish itself as a key focal point along the lines of Liverpool’s highly successful Albert Dock.

Early signs are promising. The staging of White Whale, an ambitious production retelling the story of Moby Dick, is just the sort of spectacle the dock needs to create some buzz and get people down there.

Leeds Dock has the potential to become a quirky, must-visit destination – let’s hope it now fulfils it.

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