Whilst meeting with a GP Federation Lead recently, they talked about the biggest challenges they face through their daily practice. One of which was the disproportionate use of primary care services within their practice. They had analysed patient demand and identified a very small number of patients were responsible for utilising a disproportionate number of appointments, in fact one patient was having more than 3 appointments per week with the practice.
The GP could think of no bone fide medical reason for the patient to need 3 appointments a week but cannot prevent them from or limit their access to services.
Would a nominal £10 fee prevent patients utilising valuable primary care resources when self-care would be appropriate, or would it mean that those who most need the services would be unable to access them?