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Independents' Day

David Banner

  • Prescription drug addiction review must boost funding for pain services, say GPs

    David Banner's comment 05 Jul 2019 6:01pm

    I get the sinking feeling that this report will be splashed across the news with the usual GP scapegoating, and league tables to name and shame beleaguered practices.

    Increasing Pain Clinic provision will only lead to more opiate prescribing dumped on GPs after single consultation and discharge.

    The ship has sailed for those patients already consuming/selling their gabbies and opiates, trying to wean them off is maddeningly futile.

    The real toughening up should be on new patients. Ban primary care initiation of CDs for chronic pain, if initiated in secondary care then keep on a “shared care” basis rather than discharging back to GP. That will focus the minds of our hospital colleagues, who will drown in follow up patients if they don’t drastically cut prescribing.

  • Incidentaloma on the rise: how GPs are left to manage unexpected findings

    David Banner's comment 05 Jul 2019 3:49pm

    Hypochondriac - “Why don’t you just put me through a total body scanner every year?”

    GP - “Because we might kill you trying to find the terminal illness you haven’t got”

  • Six month guideline for terminally ill patients deemed 'not fit for purpose'

    David Banner's comment 04 Jul 2019 8:58am

    If the 6 month rule is lifted, GPs will be inundated with speculative requests for a DS1500 from huge numbers of COPD/HFailure/(insert your chronic disease here) patients, many of whom are far from “terminal”. You either refuse (and endure the wrath of the entitled), or you waste many happy hours form filling.
    By all means educate GPs that end stage chronic disease needs a DS1500 just as much as terminal cancer, and that our judgement will not be held against us if they live longer, but please don’t make our lives a misery by scrapping the 6 month rule.

  • Comfortably numb

    David Banner's comment 04 Jul 2019 0:42am

    Excellent article (as always).

    There is a current vogue for discharging surgical patients with a bottle of oramorph and an expectation from these punters for more from their GP.
    This oramorph madness has spread to A&E discharges, especially for unexplained abdominal pain.
    Even children are being sent home on tramadol, codeine et al.
    And don’t get us started on Pain Clinics, who have given up any meaningful intervention, just a cheery note to titrate up the opiates and pregabalin, and goodbye.

    This breathtaking nihilism from secondary care is crushing our King Canute efforts to stem the tide of analgesic pharmageddon. Sadly there will have to be many more avoidable deaths (and sued GPs) before any meaningful action is taken.

  • New approach needed to improve NHS care for trans patients, says RCGP

    David Banner's comment 02 Jul 2019 1:40pm

    We have to be careful that GICs don’t become the next CAMHS car crash.
    For years we saw raising of awareness to encourage children to come forward with their mental health problems, only to find that CAMHS was so overwhelmed that they now routinely reject nearly all of our referrals , leaving GPs as piggy in the middle.
    With trans issues benefiting from far more publicity, there is the inevitable rise in patients attending GPs for referral to GICs. If there is no improvement in GIC provision GPs will be stuck with the problem yet again, with nothing to offer people with raised expectations.
    And if the authorities think they can dump all the donkey work on GPs with a “shared care” protocol, think again. This is a highly specialised (and controversial) issue, requiring expert secondary care. No GP worth their salt would touch it with a barge pole.

  • Practices to focus on learning disabilities under QOF 'quality improvement'

    David Banner's comment 02 Jul 2019 1:18pm

    Hang on, for years now we’ve been hearing that QOF is to be scrapped.
    But now they’ve stripped out the easy stuff and replaced it with yet more pointless box ticking time consuming tosh for the same money.
    Thanks for nothing.

  • Pride on my desk

    David Banner's comment 01 Jul 2019 2:29pm

    Other than bigoted entrenched hardcore homophobes and unreachable religious fundamentalists, the vast majority of society isn’t the slightest bit bothered about anybody’s sexuality any more, so put your husband’s picture up with pride. The final phase of acceptance is when people see a person, not an LGBT person, just a person. Perhaps the best way to achieve this is NOT display rainbows and trans flags or go on marches (thus emphasising you are some how “different”, which you are not).

  • Fear and loathing in the appraisal process

    David Banner's comment 26 Jun 2019 8:31am

    Between the Wild West of the 20th Century (when you could in theory go a whole career without any education) and the infuriatingly pointless annual colonoscopy we suffer today, there was a brief period of common sense appraisal in between.
    You would collect certificates from a few meetings and wave them at your appraiser, briefly discuss your future educational needs, then a longer chat/moan to see if you were coping with the job.
    There were no online torture chambers, no meaningless “reflections”, no long lists of probably unachievable goals, no week of madness uploading certificates and typing endless drivel that nobody will ever read.
    For the love of God, RCGP, please end the madness.

  • GPs 'should stop using inflammatory markers as non-specific test'

    David Banner's comment 23 Jun 2019 3:20pm

    Here’s an idea. Why don’t experienced GPs assess, investigate and treat individual patients appropriately using the knowledge acquired from their expensive education. I know, I know.....totally crazy, it’ll never catch on.....sorry.

  • Thousands of terminally ill patients risk being denied benefits, says RCGP

    David Banner's comment 23 Jun 2019 10:58am

    Neil Bhatia is bang on.

    If the “6 month” rule is lifted there will be a rush of speculative DS1500 requests which (apart from a huge increase in our paperwork) will have a sudden massive financial impact on the already inadequate benefits system.

    People are told to request DS1500 precisely because they are terminal. They already know this. There is more of an issue with non-terminal patients making an inappropriate request, which I happily decline with a breezy “That’s for when you’re dying, and I’m glad to say you ain’t dying yet!”

    And if someone is palliative we should be happy to complete a DS1500 even if we think they may have more than 6 months left, because none of us have a crystal ball. These patients can pass within weeks if (for example) they develop pneumonia (especially for extremely unpredictable conditions like MND).

    The slightly trickier ones are cancer patients undergoing potentially curative treatment who may be struggling financially. If they request a DS1500 I explain that it is designed for patients with less than 6 months to go, reassure them it probably doesn’t apply to them, but fill it in any way on the grounds that cancer therapy is notoriously unpredictable, without stating definitively on the form that I expect them to die soon, and leave interpretation to the department dealing with DS1500........nobody has ever been turned down.

    We need a sensible compromise and the current system (whilst not perfect) gets it just about right. I know some people find the decisions uncomfortable, but GPs pride themselves on making these tough calls, it would be a disappointing dereliction of duty if we duck this one.

  • GMC says reflection should be 'less of a tick-box exercise'

    David Banner's comment 18 Jun 2019 9:05pm

    Anyone with sense will tick the box with pointless meaningless risk-free reflections, (such as that complaint when you refused to issue diazepam 2 weeks early, or learnt a valuable lesson when the fridge temperature dropped a degree) rather than mentioning ANYTHING of substance that could return to haunt you in future years.
    Treat it with the contempt it deserves.

  • NHS to investigate GP ‘fraud’ in retaining ghost patients

    David Banner's comment 14 Jun 2019 0:06am

    The picture accompanying this article is remarkably similar the the My Iron Lung EP cover.

  • Major GP guidelines mostly ‘based on expert opinion and not evidence’

    David Banner's comment 13 Jun 2019 10:16am

    Nitwits Ignoring Clinical Evidence.

    These are the clowns who tried to impose FeNO testing and comically ignorant diabetes guidelines on us recently.
    But whilst we all laugh at and ignore their “cost effective” demented nonsense, the truth is that these deeply flawed dictats may be used as evidence against you by your local friendly GMC one day.
    Depressing and terrifying in equal measures.

  • How primary care networks can strengthen GP practices

    David Banner's comment 04 Jun 2019 12:56pm

    Look, we were effectively forced into networks (all the new money is attached to them), how many of us would have joined voluntarily?

    Our negotiators failed yet again to have money put straight into practices, so now we have to squeeze another hoop-jumping meaningless meeting into what used to be called our “lunch break” just to break even.

    These layers upon layers of expensive and useless bureaucracy eat into precious clinical time, and keep GPs away from their patients.

    Please don’t try to dress networks up as a brave new world, we’ve seen too many of these ruinously redundant reboots crash and burn over the last 20 years and we’re thoroughly sick of them. All of them. Just leave us alone....please.

  • Patients feeling supported by GP as important as medication for diabetes control

    David Banner's comment 02 Jun 2019 10:33am

    “Your HbA1c is 100. Just to let you know, I’m here for you”
    “Oh. Aren’t you going to prescribe me anything?”
    “Nope, no need, I’ve checked the research, just know that I’m behind you all the way. I believe in you!”
    “Errr, cheers Doc, but I think I’ll see the Locum next time”

  • The full story on how practices are closing in record numbers

    David Banner's comment 02 Jun 2019 10:24am

    Whilst this is FINALLY getting some band width on national media, I doubt there will be any action.
    Listened to a radio phone in where call after call consisted of people slagging off overpaid lazy GPs.
    15 years of brainwashing with this stereotype has closed the minds of the public to our plight. The partnership purge will continue as planned,

  • We need to change how we tackle the anti-vax movement

    David Banner's comment 01 Jun 2019 8:56am

    No vaccines = no school

    Problem solved

  • May heralds 'proper funding for mental health' in resignation speech

    David Banner's comment 24 May 2019 7:24pm

    This must be why CAMHS is such a fabulous service that is easy for GPs to access. Job well done.

  • Jeremy Hunt to run as candidate to replace PM Theresa May

    David Banner's comment 24 May 2019 7:21pm

    I can’t take this any more. Pass the pregabalin......mmmm, that’s better

  • Chancellor downplays hopes for pension tax reform

    David Banner's comment 24 May 2019 10:18am

    Doctors in secondary care are already cutting sessions and refusing extra work.
    Some are even considering setting up limited companies for these extra sessions to avoid the AA trap.
    Either way, it is insane. As soon as these senior doctors saw their first massive AA bill they either cut work or starting dreaming up ways around it.
    Did HMG think they would happily do extra work (effectively) for free?
    If HMG don’t change the rules they will either face (another) workforce crisis or financial meltdown shelling out to limited companies charging whatever they feel like.
    Utter madness.