Patients should be treated as customers, says ACEVO chief
GPs need to kick start the shift to a “customer-focused” culture in the NHS, it is claimed.
Speaking at a fringe event run by think tank 2020Health at the Conservative party conference in Birmingham, Sir Steven Bubb, Chief Executive of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO), said GPs are “generally very un-customer focused”.
“It is simply not right that they are so un-customer focused that many people use A&E as their doctors,” he said.
“Why is it homeless people and people with mental health problems do not see their GP? GPs need to think seriously about how they relate to their customers. It is an absolutely crucial thing that they have to do.”
Bubb said voluntary organisations can help GP practices become more customer-focused and give more personalised care.
Nadine Dorries, a Tory MP for Mid-Bedfordshire, claimed the reforms will help patients become “visible” to the health service.
“At the moment, the accountants are the most important people in the NHS, not patients,” she said.
“People who work in the NHS have to start thinking differently about their patients. They have to regard them as special and as their customer. That culture change begins from the GP practice and I want to see GPs leading that change.”