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Patient access to healthcare is 'slow and unhelpful'

11 September 2015

Current model is not working, TUC Congress will be told

It takes too long for patients to receive effective access to the treatment that they need because the government is obsessed with supporting an out-of-date system, next week’s trades union congress will be told.

The Society of Radiographers say that patients should be able to go direct to the most appropriate healthcare professionals and not always have to rely on general practitioners to refer patients.

“The government is fixated on a model that says access to healthcare has to go through GPs. This isn’t working because there a too few general practitioners to provide the support that patients need,” said Warren Town, the Society’s director of industrial strategy.

“Even if there is immediate action to make available the resources to close the gap between demand and supply, it is going to take a long time before we see improvements and achieve the goal of universally available healthcare,” he continued.

“The government has refused to look at the role of the non-medical health professional to improve access to care. If direct patient referral to these groups was made possible, we would see an immediate improvement in patients receiving effective and timely treatment.”

ENDS

Notes for Editor

Notes to editor: 1. TUC Congress 2015 takes place from Sunday, 13 September - Wednesday, 16 September at the Brighton Centre, Kings Road, Brighton. 2. Motion 53 asks the TUC to set-up a meeting with the Department of Health to discuss direct access to healthcare. 3. The Society of Radiographers represents 28,000 health professionals who work in diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy for the treatment of cancer. More than 19,000 radiographers are employed by the NHS in the UK. 4. Allied health professionals provide a wide range of services and treatments. They include radiographers, arts therapists, chiropodists/podiatrists, dietitians, occupational therapists, orthotists, paramedics, physiotherapists, prosthetists, and speech and language therapists. http://www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/explore-by-career/allied-health-professions/ For more information contact Dominic Deeson on 0795 784 5238 or 01227 469060

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