If you are wondering why you still can’t get a face to face appointment with your doctor, perhaps this will explain it.

Virtual appointments were used during the Covid pandemic to keep social mixing low, but and it is a big but, the system has been encouraged by the NHS, with GP practices being offered bonuses to keep in-person attendances down!

Whether the Health Secretary was aware of this when he ordered 1,000 practices to hold more face to face appointments I don’t know, but it needs to be sorted out without any further delay. Paying GPs to do less work just isn’t on.

And while he is about it can he also sort out other NHS services which have gone into almost total lockdown?

For example, I know of a parent whose child has a severe speech disability and has not seen a speech therapist for eighteen months. As therapy for problems of this nature can only be successful when patients are seen regularly, even the shortest break is a setback.

Last week she asked why appointments were repeatedly cancelled, and was told that some therapists were self isolating, some off sick or on leave, and others were working from home!

Shops, banks, travel, leisure activities are back to near normal, and office staff are returning, so why is it not possible for NHS speech therapists to be fully up and running?