Times letters: GP appointments, arthritis and mental health | Comment

Sir, I read with the interest of your report that a quarter of GP appointments are now less than five minutes (Apr 29). In the same edition I note that the government is consulting on fixed fees to reduce costs in clinical negligence cases. Would it be unreasonable to speculate that the solution to both issues lies in better funding of frontline NHS services?
John De Bono QC
Serjeants’ Inn, London EC4

Sir, Occasionally five minutes with a healthcare professional is adequate: a quick blood test, a simple medication review, a triage appointment. Most of the time a longer appointment is required, particularly for patients with complex health needs. This is reflected in latest general practice consultation data, with 39 per cent of patients seen for more

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