NHS: Access to Treatments - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:38 pm on 7 September 2022.

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Photo of Lord Kamall Lord Kamall The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 3:38, 7 September 2022

The noble Lord raised a number of different points, which I will try to respond to. One issue is that, although we are recruiting more doctors, at the same time clearly there are doctors who are looking to leave. There is a demographic of people reaching a certain age, and one of the issues is pensions and whether they hit the limit. Those discussions are going on. There are also lots of discussions going on about how we can improve retention of those staff who feel overworked and have had enough.

In addition, at certain levels, for example primary care, it does not always have to be a doctor that the patient sees. It could be a practice nurse or a physiotherapist. There is also more emphasis on the Pharmacy First programme, whereby people can get advice from pharmacies, unless they actually need to see a doctor.