§ 71. Sir J. Langford-Holt
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the average length of time it takes to carry out the administrative formalities of a patient's change of doctors; and what are the causes of delay.
§ Mr. Moyle
A patient may change his doctor in various circumstances, listed in Regulation 18 of the NHS (General Medical and Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 1974, and the procedures to be followed vary accordingly. It is not possible to give an average length of time for the procedures, which in some cases include compulsory waiting times of up to 14 days and in all cases are largely in the hands of the patients and doctors concerned. Any delays which occur need have no effect on the availability of medical care since emergency treatment can be provided by almost all NHS general practitioners.
If the hon. Member has a particular case in mind I shall be pleased to look into it if he will write to me.