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As a volunteer driver for a small community transport charity, I spend a lot of time taking local residents, mainly little old ladies (LOLs), to hospital out patient appointments, and a lot more time waiting for them to be seen. Clinics often run late, fracture and eye clinics almost always, and be told that 'she won't be long' is meaningless. But most of my LOLs seem to want the reassurance of seeing a doctor, if not necessarily the consultant, though a few would probably be satisfied with a telephone consultation. Any improvement to the system would be welcome, but studies involving LOLs are needed to show what would be most effective.
As NHS England's Medical Director supports the concept, will there be proposals in the Long Term Plan?