This is further to my thread here (but can't seem to post there for some reason): https://www.keepbritainfree.com/forum/activism/what-care-is-the-nhs-a-gp-legally-obliged-to-provide Just written to the Royal College of GPs:
I have been trying to find the answer to this, but have been unable so I wonder if you can help me. Could you tell me what specific aspects of the law GP practices are following when they say that patients cannot be seen in person, and must only be seen by telephone or digital appointment please? The CoronaVirus Act was revoked and replaced on 3rd July with Part 2 and it’s unclear exactly what applies to medical care? https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/684/regulation/1/made Matt Hancock has since said all healthcare apts will have to remain remote / digital for the foreseeable. On what authority has he done that? And on what legal basis are GP practices enacting it? Secondly, could you point me at what rights patients have during this time? If, say, GP practices are enacting guidance as if it was law, and are rationing, reducing or cutting services to patients, what recourse do patients have? Thirdly, could you let me know, are GP practices and care providers still subject to PSED duty, equality impact assessments and risk assessments? I assume they are obliged, when working out what services to offer, to ensure they are not discriminatory. E.g. telephone appointments could be exclusionary to hard of hearing and deaf people, and zoom or digital appointments are difficult to access for those who are elderly, don’t have access to technology or are learning disabled? My local practice, I hear anecdotally, are asking patients to take photos of body parts and text and email to them the surgery. I assume that practice is not consistent with good risk assessments, GDPR, or patient dignity, privacy or confidentiality? it would only take one nefarious person in the practice to upload intimate photos to a p0rn site, or share them outside the practice for that to be quite a serious breach I assume? I’ve looked at your website, and I notice that you have plenty of information about GPs assessing the risks to themselves, but I can’t find anything about assessing risks to patients by withdrawing care in this way? Could you tell me what GPs are obliged to do? I assume that GP practices are assessing the risks to their patients when they are not seen in person, and each practice is obliged to carry out such a risk assessment? This article on risk assessments is useful, http://laworfiction.com/2020/07/risk-assessments-an-important-chink-in-the-lockdown-armour/ In law, Covid19 does not represent a clear and imminent danger. I assume therefore, when risk assessing remote services, GPs are obliged to balance risks? Such as missed diagnoses, late diagnoses, missing symptoms by relying on the patient to self report them, late referrals etc? I also note RCGP is recommending GP practices enforce the wearing of masks when people do have to come into the practice, and enforce social distancing (which is not law). Here is the law on masks: http://laworfiction.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Face-Covering-Exemption-Notice-with-Law-Explained-24-July-2020.pdf I assume GP practices have been given clear guidance on the exemptions that apply to face masks and are clear that they cannot refuse care to anyone who is legally exempt from wearing one? The reason I ask all this is my local GP practice is refusing to see my elderly dad, he’s getting very threadbare care by telephone, and access to care is policed by over zealous receptionists who are giving out advice that I believe is neither lawful, enforceable, nor accurate. I want to know on what basis are NHS providers withdrawing care from their patients like this?