Me Myself & I
On-line consultations, e-health or whatever you want to call it are the future of healthcare whether we want to believe it or not.As AI improves, IT technology will disrupt medicine like it is doing every other area of work, so there is no point taking a King Canute attitude towards the inevitable. Moan on if you want, but look at whats happening on the high street - shops closing due to people switching to on-line shopping. "But that's not comparable to healthcare" I hear you say. True. But look at banking, where people have been effectively forced to bank on-line due to high street branches closing in their hundreds. Though it was precipitate by those who found the convenience and easy of on-line banking liberating, many closures have been planned by management to force more people to use on-line platforms due to related costing savings expected. Healthcare is a commodity like everything else, and one which governments across the world who are require to provide for their people are struggling to cope with due to cost and recruitment issues. Yes, face-2-face, doctor patient relationships are the gold standard, but this does not imply that on-line will not work. A simple question for the Hurley Group naysayers- How many claims of negligence or malpractice have their been against Hurley Group relating to eConsult since its introduction in 2013? Answer- ZERO. You can read into that fact what you will, but to me it indicates that in 5 years it has offered a service that patients have use that has been relatively safe. All you Cassandras taking a self righteous view of medicine as you perceive it to be may be right about medicine losing it soul, but you are ignoring the reality that many patients and even some doctors can see the benefits of using on-line consultations; add to the fact that in the UK that young GPs are not staying whilst older GPs are leaving ealier an earlier, leading to a retention crisis meaning for those of us left to soldier on, innovative ways need to be found to cover the short fall staff which aren't reliant on us waiting for a beneficent government ready to pour the money required to sustain a free health care system with an ever ageing population.
I do understand my colleagues frustrations on alot of what is going on in primary care, but venting for the sake of venting really does not add much to the dialogue of supporting those doctor who have decided to continue to work in the UK
in so many ways you have lived up to my football team's infamous motto: audere est facere.
You have encouraged us, berated us, celebrated us and above all else been there with us through thick and thin. Your legacy is assured.
I pray your successor is cut from the same cloth as these are difficult, troubling times we are going through as a profession and, as PULSE has always done under your stewardship, we need the new editor to realise also that 'TO DO IS TO DARE'.
All the best for the future!!
Game, set and match HUNT
.....and thus began the flight.
RIP NHS GP Partnership: 1948 -2017
MacDonalds Medicine, without trying to to sound like a sycophantic terd, your response to my mine is actual one the most positive things I have read on Pulse for an age.
Firstly I am glad you appreciated the sarcasm, it was well-intentioned.
You're right about the dirty nature of politics and also that we need a new breed of leaders with the nous and savvieness to outplay even the most duplicitous, unsavoury, political types - both within and without the profession. I am all for that in abundance. I feel that this new breed need both challenge and encouragement in equalish measures to find their way and style - so my criticism is about cutting them down mercilessly before they yet developed the armoury they need to withstand such an onslaught.
My personal view for what it's worth is that the RCGP has vastly overreached its remit. It was set up to enhance the professional standing of general practice within the medical fraternity as well as the public. Somehow, along the way it seems to have decided to take on the responsibilities of our union, the BMA, whilst simultaneously alienating its membership with costs that bear no relation to practical benefit, supporting practices that have no basis in evidence (appraisal/re-validation) and generally being to show-offy at members expense (Euston Square - say no more!") . It is here I believed the problems lie, because of the overt political public positions it has taken in recent years (compared to other royal colleges)it has now been assumed to be the voice of politically agitated GPs - a role it has neither the competency nor the mandate to perform. In my opinion no-one currently in the RCGP has the political astuteness to address the forces determined to undermine GP land, but I can't fault them for having tried, and have appreciated their effort, however futile or misguided, like a child trying to talk a fatally injured adult back to life afte a stabbing.
The real focus of our ire or support should be the BMA, as whether member or not, they are the representative body for medics and ultimately negotiate our terms and conditions with the powers that be, and up till now have done a pretty pathetic job of championing our corner.
I can only hope the election of the previous GPC chair as the current BMA chair should see a more robust defence of general practice, as at least he has shown an awareness of the frustrations of GPs compared to the previous chair, and with support, may find the courage to be defiant in the face of obtuseness.
I definitely envy your pessimistic lifestyle - it would seem negative thinking may actually be good for the soul!! I hope to join you in the leisurely class one day - once kids are out of uni, the mortgage (on home and practice) paid off and partnership passed on to a new breed of able and willing - like you and I once were (probable still are actually).
Please don't get me started on the Great British pension scam that is NHS pensions. A ponzi scheme has never been so deliberated missold to such an unassuming profession. I have long ago decide to chance my luck with the lotto (both national and Euro - you got to be in it to win I've been told), slum land-lording, and every once in a while you might find me twerking in the Limelight club, Wandsworth just to ensure I have a liveable income in my dotage.
sorry McDonald Medicine the sentence "My observations are regarding the treatment of those who have opinions different to yourself.." should read My observations are regarding the treatment of those who have opinions different to ones own.." it was a general observation rather than specifically referring to yourself. Apologies!!
McDonalds Medicine, I have no intention of elaborating on my comments regarding different perspectives on addressing the challenges the profession faces. As I reader of Pulse I am sure you've seen many of the potential remedies both in articles & blogs as well as in the accompanying comments to these over the past few years. My observations are regarding the treatment of those who have opinions different to yourself - at times veering towards denigration, belittling or borderline chauvinism. This what I saw in response to Sarah's blog, as well as to other what I would call more 'positively framed' comments in past blogs.
This just MY opinion - you don't have to like it, neither me yours but surely it's not beyond the wit of an educated man or woman to debate the issues in a way all can engage without being set upon. Again just my opinion.
With regards to you article on the benefits of negative thinking, am I suppose to believe this WSJ research negates all the hundreds, if not thousands of peer reviewed psychological research done over many years on the benefits of positive thinking? shall we call it a tie? I suppose it just proves the maxim that people will 'find' the research to suit their purposes (or in the case mind state). And this goes back to my central tenet that people will have different perspectives based on their beliefs, experiences, hopes and expectations. I have have no problem in believing you take great pleasure in thinking negatively, and in you believing in fact that it makes you a better person. Others, like me, myself, and I may believe they benefit from having a more positive disposition - courses for horse as they say!
As you seem to like Churchill quotes, I think it is only fair to use the great mans words to my ends:"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty" & "Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm"
Is that motivational enough for you??
Poster swallowed hook, line and sinker!
This is a well written, insightful comment on the responses to a satirical blog written last week which intended to hold a mirror to readers of Pulse, presumable to aid reflection.
We are living through a very polarised period which is reflected throughout society be it the Brexit vote, left-right political agendas, the young being pitted against the elderly etc and the venom of this divide can be seen on a multitude of media outlets where the public can have their say. I guess GPs are no different.
I do not see this as a struggle between young, wet-behind-the-ears newbies versus battled hardened, weather-worn, cynical old pros, but more a difference of opinion on how best to confront the present challenges and secure the future of the profession. One route sees the potential for sunny uplands if we as individuals or a as a profession try to go for as many small wins as we can whilst rolling with the blows that comes, aimed at the profession, from external forces on a perpetual basis. The other sees any attempt to impact on events as being pointless, will make no difference and we should all either resist,resist,resist, or find pastures new, preferably in the antipodes (though failing that Canada will do).
Of course both view points are valid, and despite how it might seem by reading Pulse comment boards, probably held in fairly equal measure to a greater or lesser degree throughout the profession, depending on your personality, constitutional make-up, and levels of masochism!!
I saw the blog in question as trying to represent those who hold the former worldview, who also read Pulse, but I am sure would only very tepidly venture to make any significant contribution to the debate for fear of being hounded off the board (e.g. the non-newbies Ivan Bennett & Claire Gerrada over the last couple of years I have been reading Pulse). And no, its not because this cohort of GPs are timid wall flowers, but more likely they think why bother entering the 'echo chamber of the cantankerous' to be shout-down with constant negativity - let them wallow in their self-pity.
Whilst strong impassioned argument is expected and should welcomed on a professional site such as this, the level of vitriol directed at anyone who does not conform to the 'world is falling in, we're all going to die, I tell you die' brigade is truly disturbing.
If your reading this Sarah, good luck with your blogging and the leadership course. As the young and hip would say - do you, forget the haters and dissers, and above all remember - illegitimi non carborundum!!
Well done Sarah. I think some of the vitriolic responses kind of prove your point. You passive -aggressive thing, you!!
And to the GP who thinks using the word 'diss' makes you 'one of the kidz, innit, bruvvahood' types, I suggest you trade your semaphore for a smartphone and get into the 21st century. Language evolves and new words enter common parlance all the time, no reason for GPs not to keep up, no matter how old!!!
Another acerbic yet refreshingly accurate commentary from Dev. The new Pev, methinks.
Well said Catherine Welch. A voice of reason at last in this Eloi/Morlock debate.
Good to see Peverley back, and back at his inflammatory best to boot, but Catherine correctly articulates the problem of taking on an extreme position on the rights and wrongs of the involvement of clinicians in the running of the NHS.
Peverley, as agent provocateur, highlights the exasperation felt by many in the profession who have seen their once imperious hold over all things medical and standing as clinicians evaporate and fall at the feet of 'quango-dom', regulatory creep and political imperative. Rather than trying to hold back the tide of change, Canute style, GPs might be better recognising that we need to be in the game to change it. This is surely preferable to continually harping on at the sidelines like a couple of grumpy old men, not clear what exactly they don't like, but clear that whatever it is, they don't like it.
Again, welcome back Pev.