This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Read the latest issue online

CAMHS won't see you now

Pale Male and Stale

  • Four surgeries run by former CCG chair suspended by CQC until 'further notice'

    Pale Male and Stale's comment 30 Dec 2019 9:46am

    ...only those GP surgeries already closed down can escape the threat of suspension!

    It's grim out there/here - we spend too much time trying to make sure that we pass a CQC test that actually has no real evidence of being related to patient outcomes!

  • Should GPs stop doing home visits?

    Pale Male and Stale's comment 23 Nov 2019 10:48am

    Like the author I work 2-2.5 days a week (4-5 sessions) and having done 20 years of up to 11 sessions per week I can tell the difference. I’m in the transition to retirement and winding down. If I felt the same every day I work now than I did when working FT then it wouldn’t be sustainable but it isn’t - every day there is a bigger light at the end of the tunnel - a 4-5 day w/e. The less I work the more I enjoy it and I’m sure having the variety of something else tomorrow keeps me and I’m sure those with portfolio careers going. What I see from those around me doing stuff other than GP work is that they in the main choose roles without the uncertainty of having 5 mins of duty left and 3 visits come in. That’s the issue - whether it be family time, lunch or just being there for a pm surgery - it’s OFF - dealing with uncertainty was the great strength of the old GP as we seldom had much else in our lives - work life balance has improved and not working w/e makes life a lot better despite the fact I often had only a handful of visits from Friday night to Monday morning. I lived in the area and a visit on foot or a 5 minute drive makes the choice to visit much easier than knowing a visit will take up the best part of an hour or more. Who do I blame? Everyone. Us old GPs with visit books filled by reception whilst we worked. How to turn around a ‘request’ for a visit is in my experience almost impossible and is often the cause for a complaint - “It’s my right! Are you REFUSING’ to visit?” ((Patient expectation is key - it took us years but now patients don’t expect a home visit so when they get one it’s appropriate and gratefully recieved - tell them it’s so much easier and we have all the kit in the surgery - send a taxi if needs be - yes been there done that! Often visits are requested as children need looking after - is this OUR problem? Maybe it is and if so it’s yet another job for the GP(The patients - Jeeze you pay £5 for a taxi and it saves me an hour to do other stuff for other patients - and by the way that’s less than the fag packet in your pocket. Government - it’s just too easy to push everything onto GPs and maybe home visits WERE part of that - it’s all the other 2y care work that has come our way as well as patient expectation exploding.

    A local surgery has a driver and dedicated GP - I suspect this just makes more and more work - a paramedic able to triage and deal with 90% would be more efficient and probably involve more continuity of care.

    There is no doubt that younger GPs see home visits as a stress and for this reason alone will drive away those we are trying to recruit and retain. Not rocket science is it?!

  • Conservatives pledge 6,000 new doctors in general practice by 2024/25

    Pale Male and Stale's comment 11 Nov 2019 11:47am

    ...when will the general public get the message? Electioneering = Lies, damn lies and statistics! Andrew Marr gave the example of the Police Cuts of 20,000 police and the new pledge of 20,000 more police. It's like taking your raincoat away in a storm and several years later saying here's a new raincoat so everything is fine now, isn't it??
    The treatment of NHS GPs and Hospital consultants over the years has sapped morale and the willingness to do all those unpaid extras that we used to obligingly do as 'part of the job' - now so much has been taken away, so much added to the job and no thanks (£s would be nice too!)that our capacity to stand still let alone push on is now zero. As a past GP trainer this is hard work and this too has been made less attractive. Fully experienced GP takes time out to help train newbie inexperienced GP so there is some initial loss of availability too that doesn't seem to have been factored in. Where are all the extra trainers going to come from - were we not thinking that GP training needed to be extended further too?

  • I've a shortage of patience

    Pale Male and Stale's comment 26 Oct 2019 11:10am

    Ahhh the alternative to the NHS - the grand Tory master plan and there they are not even having to face the splatter of the shit hitting the fan with focus elsewhere!

  • Lower GP practice ratings due to workforce and demand issues, says CQC

    Pale Male and Stale's comment 15 Oct 2019 10:42am

    I wonder how much GP practices would improve if the anxiety and workload of a CQC inspection were lifted?

  • General practice responsible for £88m of fraudulent behaviour, claims NHS report

    Pale Male and Stale's comment 17 Sep 2019 10:54am

    I wonder how much GPs are 'defrauded' by the NHS in not getting full payment of fees etc?

  • The sinister parallels between the NHS and the airline industry

    Pale Male and Stale's comment 24 Aug 2019 10:51am

    Dr Kamal Sidhu is a GP and trainer in Durham, vice chair of County Durham and Darlington LMC and chair of South Durham Health CIC.- Mmm seems to have risen to the snowy peak himself!

    When I get picked out for a ‘random security check’ I think of it as ‘random’ - that some others with more melanin think that their randomness is racist is anecdotal. One surgeon, one flight does not racism make. This was a ‘safety’ issue and related to getting the plane off in its slot. Rudeness is unfortunate but happens to us all and is not an excuse for breaking the rules - no matter how ‘right’ you feel you are. It’s their rules - break them and take the consequences like the rest of us

  • After 35 years in medicine, I’m having an endarkenment

    Pale Male and Stale's comment 23 Apr 2019 1:44pm

    Scary? How about this. Many years ago, single handed I did minor surgery at the end of surgery. I'd seen a lady with an 'obvious' lipoma and agreed to excise it for her. However when she arrived it seemed bigger than I had remembered and after some humming and haring I decided to refer - UNHAPPY patient! - The surgeons saw her agreed with my diagnosis and arranged day case surgery - you guessed it - spigalean hernia - I had actually seen and heard about these in medical school! Glad it wasn't me cutting through a loop of bowel!

  • Obsolete? Of course not, GPs are the bedrock of the NHS

    Pale Male and Stale's comment 08 Feb 2019 12:21pm

    Have faith - Haven't the government delivered on Brexit, Universal Credit and pulling out of Afghanistan and Iraq?

  • Part-time revolution: How general practice is adapting as GPs reclaim control

    Pale Male and Stale's comment 28 Nov 2018 6:21pm

    Some may say "Your part time flexibility is my early mornings, late evenings and working through the holidays"

    I'd say "I'm off, been there done that and never got the thanks!"

    Do we really want to be managed from above? Well the answer at the coal face is "No - I'll work when and where I want as a locum" - Until those taking the risk and ultimately the responsibility for premises, staff contracts, GMS Contracts etc. are rewarded MUCH better than locum or salaried jobs then the temptation will be to take the money and the flexibility.

    At the end of the day we can't all have ultimate flexibility and remain 'equal' - Some are indeed more equal than others. Big Brother will take over the farm and GPs will be offered take it or leave it contracts....unless SOME GPs take back control and are rewarded for doing so, not just money.....maybe they too would like some flexibility!!

  • Local council grants almost £1m to GP surgery to upgrade premises

    Pale Male and Stale's comment 17 Sep 2018 1:11pm those who have, shall be given.

  • When I grow up, I’ll be a worse GP

    Pale Male and Stale's comment 15 Sep 2018 12:36pm

    Adulting begins at sixty - twenty years a kid, 20 years pretending to be an adult, another 20 years preparing and then you’re there - Adult - only to find it’s actually like the first 20 years - fewer responsibilities and certainly less fear of mucking things up! Goodbye imposter syndrome, I’ve been there done that and if that’s not good enough for you - TOUGH !! You know you’ve arrived when you can truly laugh at yourself when the others are falling off their chair having fallen off yours and not caring you don’t know all the answers and openly use Dr Google for advice!

  • NHS launches scanning service for old GP records amid 'paperless' strategy

    Pale Male and Stale's comment 11 Sep 2018 11:32am

    It's a sorry state of affairs but the best and cheapest solution is probably to do nothing. All practices MUST do GP2GP and somewhere along the way notes will be summarised (hopefully) - In time whatever is left in the Lloyd George will become less and less relevant. The alternative IS to scan everything and upload onto clinical system - not ideal but less likely to be lost than LG - The time taken to review notes and clear out 'junk' is too great - if scanned and separate pages created this exercise can again in time be edited and irrelevant guff culled.

  • Full-time GP numbers down by over 500 in just three months

    Pale Male and Stale's comment 25 Aug 2018 1:28pm

    Does anyone one think that making the job attractive might help?

  • GP federation to receive £10m for five-year seven-day access contract

    Pale Male and Stale's comment 21 Aug 2018 9:59am

    Is this recurrent funding or another trial?

    We are having our out of hours payments halved - you know the scenario - Same work, half the money. (This was extra money for extra work - is the expectation that we provide the same number of appointments in contracted hours if we decline?) My guess is that once set up this project will find that the funding is slashed and the expectation will be that the OOH cover remains. It will be tied in to other income streams - Out of Hospital services contracts only available to those who offer 7/7 8/8 etc!
    Looks good now - just watch out in future.

  • Grassroots GPs call for GMC chief’s resignation in light of Bawa-Garba case

    Pale Male and Stale's comment 15 Aug 2018 8:01pm

    GMC needs tree trunk let alone root and branch radical pruning - Unfortunately not just dead wood but alive and rotten to the core. Fell the whole damn thing and plant new saplings with vigour, promise and integrity.

  • Appeals court rules in favour of Bawa-Garba appeal

    Pale Male and Stale's comment 13 Aug 2018 3:39pm

    Now who has the balls to sue the GMC for damages? Hopefully some money left in the pot!

  • In full: Dr Arvind Madan's resignation statement

    Pale Male and Stale's comment 05 Aug 2018 5:00pm

    If one says one thing and believes another and likely promotes something altogether different elsewhere then getting ones ‘come upance’ is the outcome. I am sure Dr M will now use his energies to fight for larger practices including his own Hurley Group. Those that have expressed their desire to save small and medium practices now need to step up and DO something. It’s likely Dr M was expressing NHSE opinion as of course he was working for THEM not us. He’ll be replaced by someone of like mind so the battle continues!

  • We have to stop making excuses for abusive patients

    Pale Male and Stale's comment 12 Jul 2018 10:24am

    Nice one! Feel I’ve been better off for standing up for myself over the years - literally and on occasion nose to nose shouting back. It helps I’m 6ft 3in and it’s not for everyone, however the shock and horror on the faces of the abusers can be something to behild - “...No YOU F**** off!!” Often followed by “...errr you can’t talk to me like that - you’re a doctor?!?!?!” - Well I can and I do.
    It’s often a surprise to the abusing patient that I/we push back and aren’t just a vessel for there vileness - in fact on reflection, not pushing back seems to make matters worse as nobreaction or an apologetic one is like a red rag to a bull.

    I do hope however that the perpetrators of the physical abuse metred out to the 2 GPs feel the full weight of the law and we can use these as examples so as to help prevent any further attacks. (...would this be a deterrent?!)

    I may have been in a Brexit/World Cup/Thai cave bubble but why didn’t I hear of these attacks - surely this is ‘news’ ??

  • What will the GP partnership review be looking in to?

    Pale Male and Stale's comment 04 Jul 2018 4:07pm

    So a partnership model to share profits but take no risk, presume partners would like the profits but not the losses?! I think this seems like getting a job and being employed - premises issues work both ways - I actually like working in a place decorated and fitted out as I like but accept I have to pay for it, others think differently. I do find that ‘proper’ partners are more inclined to make savings and refer/prescribe if it affects them directly!