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Independents' Day

10 things the NHS can do to give GPs a less crappy new year

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Apparently, NHS bosses have instructed CCGs, NHS trusts and local authorities to come up with a plan for making general practice more sustainable next year.

Which is good, isn’t it? Because it’s an acknowledgement that, currently, it’s unsustainable. Though I think the word they’re actually looking for is ‘unbearable’.

Anyhow, I’ll save the suits a whole heap of work by providing my own plan, which they’re welcome to plagiarise in its entirety.

1. Pay us. As in, you know, just pay us. Money we’re owed, for work we’ve done. That’s flu money, avoiding unplanned admissions DES money and any other money you’re planning CQRS to shrug its stupid incompetent shoulders over.

2. Pay us some more. For what we do already. But without the psychotic breakdown each month caused by ‘1’ above. And without 8 to 8, 7/7 strings attached.

3. Having paid up, and given us a rise, you can then, on top of that, pay our defence subs. Because working a month, in effect, for nothing, is a bummer.

4. Call off the media hounds.

5. Scrap the CQC.

6. Scrap appraisal and revalidation.

7. Scrap stupid DESs. It’s not like we’re being paid for them, anyway (see point 1).

8. Stop micromanaging us to within an inch of our lives. Stop reorganising everything all the time. And stop dreaming up a new contract/model of care every time you have a dump.

9 Sort out medication shortages. I don’t know what the problem is and I don’t care, just get a grip on it, will you? What’s the frigging point of training for a degree in medicine when there isn’t any?

10. Provide a PALS equivalent for GPs. A phone number, manned by a human being, which will sort out the myriad hospital/GP interface bunches of prescribing/investigating/chasing up/following up/monitoring/please do or see or tell bollocks we face every sodding day.

Then, having sorted out 1-10 above, just f** off and leave us alone.

Alternatively, I’d sacrifice all of the above if you would simply pour a skipful of finest quality pigs**t over Messrs Hunt and Field while I stand there clapping. Ideally, though, how about both?

Dr Tony Copperfield is a GP in Essex. You can follow him on Twitter @DocCopperfield


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Readers' comments (25)

  • On the money as always! But I am curious, as to why someone so insightfull remains a partner? The current contract is toxic.

    Ditch the contract comrades! Oh yeah and don't be tricked into signing the even more sugar coated s**t one they are about to impose.

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  • why ? we are just service providers.

    it's very simple either develop a fair contract or walk out. look - companies that bid for contracts routinely pull out if the contract is flawed or not in their interest.

    btw you can add lots of entries to the list but the bottom-line is that the contract is no good and T&Cs have gone down the drain. either you are happy to put up with that if so good for you but don't bully the rest of us to stay. those that want out should be supported by the BMA.

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  • Absolutely on the mark.
    My prognosis for this year- Hunt and Field will be given OBE's and removed to different positions.
    NHSE will prosper and continue harassing Practices to closures
    Patients will continue to suffer as the Daily Mail imbibes in them that enemy number one is your GP
    A change in the monarchy is on the cards this year and wonder whether it would be Prince Charles taking over or would it be son William. Maybe we would see more active engagement to save the NHS.
    Whatever, in GP land the stalemate will persist while the only optimists hailing success will be those in RCGP/GPC/BMA/DoH/CQC/NHSE and Minister Hunt.
    Just ruminating..... I have 9 months to retirement eligibility and the end of the tunnel reflects a bitter sweet vision.

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  • Appraisal is good. Cannot scrap that, but it should be every three years. Once a year is pointless and far too often.

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  • 12,13,14 get rid of Hunt
    13 give him Field for company.

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  • Finally... that ought to do it !
    But seriously who is receiving this message...NHS England hardly has any staff and is playing the dysfunctional role; CCG's will gain "total control" at the end of this game and GPC/LMC's will blame the GP's if all goes up in flames!

    We need to speak to someone who actually gives a bother!

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  • 137pm

    Agreed. We are service providers and our Contract now pays 50% less per item of work than 2004.
    We are bullied, battered,criticized and belittled by all, never mind the papers, politicians but our peers as well.

    We do 90% of NHS consults and the DOH has reduced our share from 11 to 7% of the budget.

    We are neglected and paying penance.

    WHY precisely ? Like all other Contractors everywhere, we can leave and end the Contract.

    So WHY all the whingeing and crying? WHY is the GPC not allotting the profession to see if we really wish to stay ?

    Never fear, the nation will always need doctors. Who is going to do 90 % of the consults at 3 pound take home?

    Follow the Dentists. What oh what is stopping us ? Why do we put up with neglect and penance?
    Are we martyrs?

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  • Sort out the GMC, patients should not be able to complaint directly online without local resolution attempted first.
    Make Managers accountable , why should the buck stop with GPs...

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  • Restore real earnings to 2004 level . Job done

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  • restore pensions and retirement age to 2004 levels, job done

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From: Copperfield

Dr Tony Copperfield is a jobbing GP in Essex with more than a few chips on his shoulder