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Gold, incentives and meh

Rodger Charlton

  • Northern Irish general practice 'will collapse' before resignations collected

    Rodger Charlton's comment 11 May 2017 7:33pm

    It pains me as a GP in England to see the awful struggle my colleagues are going through in Northern Ireland. It is a symptom of under-funding in general practice and is widespread, to a greater or lesser extent, in the UK as a whole. Although I don’t work in Northern Ireland, I write as someone who went to school in Belfast, is the son of a late GP and medical graduate of Queen's University Belfast, a cousin of a Lurgan GP and practice nurse and a friend of a GP, all in Northern Ireland. They tell me of the difficulties in recruitment and retention.

    For me, the vital role played by GPs is not being recognised, acknowledged, funded or rewarded. Most of what GPs do cannot be measured through targets such as the QOF. Rather, it is the huge workload that comes with being an advocate and carer for the frail and elderly, those with mental illness, the homeless and the many others who find themselves with significant health needs and present to a GP for help.

    The illness and suffering that many of our patients have is immeasurable and they do not 'fit' the guidelines and targets which make up a major part of the GP and primary care team’s workload. This is where Northern Ireland GPs, and indeed all UK GPs, are struggling most to deliver. This hugely-skilled workforce needs support and funding to save the essential service they provide.
    If the service GPs provide continues to be undervalued and underfunded, it will be to the detriment of our society and the ethos of the NHS with access at the point of need for all.

    One could argue that in England, there have been gestures of support through the GP 5 Year Forward View, however, this is not the case in Northern Ireland where I understand that the very worrying trend of GP practice closure is greater than that in England.

    As one colleague said to me, General Practice in Northern Ireland is “on its knees”. We must all be mindful to let everyone know about the importance of GPs, including our patients who do not wish to lose us and our policy makers, so that that those making decisions are aware of what is at stake.

  • GP leaders warn 6% of NI practices could be forced to close this year

    Rodger Charlton's comment 30 Apr 2017 1:31pm

    It pains me as a GP in England to see the awful struggle my colleagues are going through in Northern Ireland. It is a symptom of under-funding in general practice and is widespread, to a greater or lesser extent, in the UK as a whole. Although I don’t work in Northern Ireland, I write as someone who went to school in Belfast, is the son of a late GP and medical graduate of Queen's University Belfast, a cousin of a Lurgan GP and practice nurse and a friend of a GP, all in Northern Ireland. They tell me of the difficulties in recruitment and retention.

    For me, the vital role played by GPs is not being recognised, acknowledged, funded or rewarded. Most of what GPs do cannot be measured through targets such as the QOF. Rather, it is the huge workload that comes with being an advocate and carer for the frail and elderly, those with mental illness, the homeless and the many others who find themselves with significant health needs and present to a GP for help.

    The illness and suffering that many of our patients have is immeasurable and they do not 'fit' the guidelines and targets which make up a major part of the GP and primary care team’s workload. This is where Northern Ireland GPs, and indeed all UK GPs, are struggling most to deliver. This hugely-skilled workforce needs support and funding to save the essential service they provide.

    If the service GPs provide continues to be undervalued and underfunded, it will be to the detriment of our society and the ethos of the NHS with access at the point of need for all.

    One could argue that in England, there have been gestures of support through the GP 5 Year Forward View, however, this is not the case in Northern Ireland where I understand that the very worrying trend of GP practice closure is greater than that in England.

    As one colleague said to me, General Practice in Northern Ireland is “on its knees”. We must all be mindful to let everyone know about the importance of GPs, including our patients who do not wish to lose us and our policy makers, so that that those making decisions are aware of what is at stake.

  • Practices to be asked to quit NHS in New Year

    Rodger Charlton's comment 28 Apr 2017 9:56am

    It pains me as a GP in England to see the awful struggle my colleagues are going through in Northern Ireland. It is a symptom of under-funding in general practice and is widespread, to a greater or lesser extent, in the UK as a whole. Although I don’t work in Northern Ireland, I write as someone who went to school in Belfast, is the son of a late GP and medical graduate of Queen's University Belfast, a cousin of a Lurgan GP and practice nurse and a school friend of a GP, all in Northern Ireland. They tell me of the difficulties in recruitment and retention.

    For me, the vital role played by GPs is not being recognised, acknowledged, funded or rewarded. Most of what GPs do cannot be measured through targets such as the QOF. Rather, it is the huge workload that comes with being an advocate and carer for the frail and elderly, those with mental illness, the homeless and the many others who find themselves with significant health needs and present to a GP for help.

    Much of their illness and suffering is immeasurable and does not 'fit' the guidelines and targets which make up a major part of the GP and primary care team’s workload. This is where Northern Ireland GPs, and indeed all UK GPs, are struggling most to deliver.

    This hugely-skilled workforce needs support and funding to save the essential service they provide. If the service GPs provide continues to be undervalued and underfunded, it will be lost and so to the detriment of our society and the ethos of the NHS with accessible care for all at the point of need.

    One could argue that in England, there have been gestures of support through the GP 5 Year Forward View, however, this is not the case in Northern Ireland where I understand that the very worrying trend of GP practice closure is greater than that in England. As one colleague said to me, General Practice in Northern Ireland is “on its knees”.

    We must all be mindful to let everyone know about the importance of GPs, including our patients who do not wish to lose us and our policy makers, so that that those making decisions are aware of what is at stake.

  • DH will fund just a third of promised extra medical school places next year

    Rodger Charlton's comment 23 Apr 2017 5:09pm

    An increase in training numbers is good news. However, we should also be asking why we need so many more doctors and in particular GPs. The answer is that many appear to be retiring early and for the junior doctors, who are Tomorrow's GPs, we know that many are leaving the UK due to being undervalued and low morale working in a very challenging environment. Similarly, some are leaving the medical profession. This needs addressed and solutions found as well as funding more places. General Practice is still a great job and we need to promote it more and continue to inspire our juniors.