With the current climate within the NHS primary care is having bigger and bigger place in the management of chronic conditions. Many people rely on their GP for most of their care and support. There is not enough staff to support all those who need it but there are those GPs and nurses who will go above and beyond to help their patients to maintain their health and independence.
For myself I am very lucky. I have a massive support from my GP. If it was not for my GP I would be struggling even more than I do. She has been there to make sure I get the hospital appointments I need and has made sure that should I need to be seen by a GP when I call in the reception staff will do their best to get me seen. Even if I don’t need to use the services they have in place for me, the security and the comfort that this offers makes it easier to live everyday and push myself knowing there is support out there.
This is a very unique situation though. It troubles me when I see other friends who struggle with asthma or other conditions who have to wait for up to 3 weeks to their GP. This is to see their own named GP but to even see any GP can often take longer than a week. A week is often to long especially with asthma- the deterioration can be quick and often a week is to late!!
Funding is a major problem in primary care and even in the acute setting but with the focus of healthcare to be primarily in the primary care area then there needs to be a funding shift which is not going to happen. We are seeing more and more GP practices struggling with more and more patients on their books and no room to make more appointments for those patients.
This is issue is one that will cause problems to bring about changes in asthma care and asthma management. Whether or not you are newly diagnosed or have been asthmatic for decades support is needed from your GP or Community Nurse to make sure you have the correct inhaler technique, and make sure you have an asthma action plan which needs reviewed regularly. I focus only asthma but there are other chronic conditions where patients need just as much support and input.
It is frustrating because you know where changes could be made to improve quality of life but it is due to the finances of the NHS which ultimately will prevent these changes being made.
We can but hope. Meanwhile the research done by academics is the hope. Perhaps a wonderful discovery will be made which has very little cost to implement!!!