I DON’T know if any patients are aware of this but the NHS has recently brought out a system whereby doctors receptionists have been given the responsibility to decide who and who does not get an appointment to see their doctor.

This is outrageous. With due respect to the receptionists, who do a brilliant job, they are not medically trained to do this and it is unfair to burden them further with these triaging responsibilities.

There is a danger that mistakes are going to be made. Elderly patients with multiple conditions are going to be made to feel like they are a burden on the practices and how can a receptionist know the difference between a cough and a cold and something more sinister?

It is all about saving money and reducing visits to the doctors. A bad decision was made when all the walk-in centres were closed down.

This triage system has been rolled out in London and Birmingham and has been found not to have made any difference at all.

To cap it all, none of us have received letters informing us of the changes or even a poster put up in the surgeries notice boards.

And what next I wonder? Self diagnosing on the internet?

Peter Lewis Fairchild

Hilden Street