The A&E blame game

Clare Gerada, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, wonders who is going to get the blame for the A&E crisis next.

Clare Gerada
5 June 2013

Interviewed on the Today programme yesterday I was rather taken aback that - having spent two weeks defending GPs against the unfair accusation that we are responsible for the recent increase in pressures on Emergency Departments - the debate had now moved to blaming immigrants. I accept that some new immigrants - especially those from countries without a tradition of General Practice - use the Emergency Department as a first point of contact with healthcare. But this is not the reason why we have seen around a 1.8% year on year rise in attendances to Emergency Departments, nor the recent sudden 5% increase (5%) reported by the Kings Fund.

I found myself wondering who would be blamed next - the poor, the sick, the elderly? Rather, we need to stop back, examine the facts and see if we can develop a solution - as the Health Select Committee is trying to do. Paradoxically I went from BBC studios to give evidence at the Health Select Committee and had a much more reasoned debate and question time with parliamentarians from all parties. It’s exhausting having to do the background work to keep informed of all the machinations coming GPs way - but I have to in order to be able to debunk myths and tell the great British public what is actually going on.



Had enough of ‘alternative facts’? openDemocracy is different Join the conversation: get our weekly email


We encourage anyone to comment, please consult the oD commenting guidelines if you have any questions.
Audio available Bookmark Check Language Close Comments Download Facebook Link Email Newsletter Newsletter Play Print Share Twitter Youtube Search Instagram WhatsApp yourData