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A faulty production line


  • Babylon's GP at Hand app signs up new patient 'every two minutes'

    LateralThink's comment 14 Mar 2018 11:13am

    Perhaps we need to think about having regulations that say once you have registered with Babylon, you will not be allowed to return to your previous practice -- in other words, Babylon has to be prepared to provide all GMS services to all their patients or be held to be contravening their NHS contract.
    Now if they can service all their NHS patients in this way, then fine -- and the allegations of cherry-picking will go away. But if they can't, why are they being allowed to take on such patients?
    The real problem however will come when this scenario comes mandated by circumstances: when the original practices have had their more profitable patients removed, leaving them too few resources to cope with the less profitable remainder: then that original practice folds, and now there is no-one to look after the more complex patients.

    This is all highly predictable: we need the regulations amending to prevent cherry-picking as otherwise nemesis will inevitably follow.

  • Time to rebel against pale, male and stale

    LateralThink's comment 11 Mar 2018 8:18am

    To the Editor: thank you for acknowledging that you were the originator of the 'Pale, male and stale' headline -- but you haven't actually apologised for using it (in fact you've made light of it by reminding us that it's been used on other occasions), and as you have insulted me through using it, perhaps you would care to apologise profusely now, both to me and the the thousands of GPs who, through no fault of their own, were born pale and male. Whether we are also stale is a different matter, but certainly not one casually to attach to the other two epithets.

  • GMC successful in High Court bid to strike off junior doctor

    LateralThink's comment 25 Jan 2018 11:52am

    Technically, the High Court is right in that the Medical Practitioner Tribunal Service technically has no option but to take at face value the original court's decision.
    However, it seems to me that justice has neither been done, nor seen to be done, and the collateral ramifications and damage will be immense.
    May I suggest that the appropriate, moral, humane and ethical thing to do now is for the GMC to strike Dr Bawa-Garba off the medical register for, say, four months, then let her apply for readmission (and accept her).
    At the same time the GMC needs to take a long hard look at the responsibility an individual clinician faces when system errors are involved, and alter its own regulations so that system failures and pressure of work are ALWAYS taken into account when judging the actions of individual clinicians.

  • 'I was told not to speak out about the problems in A&E'

    LateralThink's comment 20 Jan 2018 11:22am

    The greater pity, of course, is that the hospital management won't support you. They should be there, (sadly) cheering for you, telling the world that this is the real situation, of the difficulties that it brings you, and that while they may not have any ability to change matters in terms of the resources available to them, you and they are definitely on the same side and pulling in the same direction of trying to help the patients with all the resources they between you yo have available.
    So where are they? And what are they doing?

  • Revalidation – why it is time for a rethink

    LateralThink's comment 06 Jan 2018 12:34pm

    I do agree with those who think revalidation ought to be better targeted, and the amount of intrusive questioning /data collection minimised.
    Therefore, may I suggest that the requirement to write down 'reflection' ought to be dispensed with for all of us who can show we are Myers-Briggs Introverts. To us, reflection is as automatic as breathing, and about as impossible to stop. Therefore we shouldn't need to prove that we do it.
    Such a move would save us AGES.

  • Health Education England to consider extra year of GP training

    LateralThink's comment 14 Dec 2017 9:28am

    Why don't we instead train NHS managers to do root cause analyses on why GP numbers are falling; and why GPs are so overloaded - particularly through work that should be done by hospitals but instead just gets dumped on GPs; or else the supportive stuff they are supposed to be doing - letters sent out on time, patients not discharged too early -- hasn't been done, yet the hospitals themselves are never sanctioned. A little bit of training for the NHS higher management wouldn't go amiss, methinks.

  • Ooo doctor! Don’t carry on

    LateralThink's comment 07 Dec 2017 12:47pm

    But please remember that not everyone behaved like this! I know you never said that they did but I think we all need to be to be clear that the disreputable behaviour you describe was perpetrated by only a small subsection of the profession.

  • GP appointments to be reserved for NHS 111 direct bookings under national scheme

    LateralThink's comment 07 Dec 2017 11:02am

    This totally ignores the value of the receptionist who knows the local patients and can quickly make valuable judgements about the validity of the request and thus avoid using up appointments on trivia. Yet another example of non-GPs sticking their noses in where all they will do is make things worse.

  • GPs to face ban on OTC prescribing for self-limiting illnesses

    LateralThink's comment 30 Nov 2017 3:10pm

    One of the difficulties relates to the use of paracetamol in low-grade but prolonged arthritis. Being able to buy only 32 tablets at any one time, and therefore having to go every few days to the chemist may be possible in the big cities, but in the country it's a nightmare, especially if the nearest chemist is four miles away and you need the medication for three months.

    The other problem is severity. How do you ascertain the severity of pain? At the beginning of my career as a GP I felt that most arthritic pain was minor. Then I had a frozen shoulder/ rotator cuff injury and was on at least one occasion left nearly in tears by the continuous nature of the pain over months. That's quite a different scenario from a short time of the same intensity of pain: it's the unremitting, unrelenting nature of it that makes it a whole new ballgame (especially when you can only buy the tablets in small quantities), so the cost in petrol and time of getting adequate supplies is a considerable overhead.

    The bottom line is that prescribing of paracetamol for chronic or long-time pain needs to be treated separately from acute pain.

  • GPs asked to do early home visits to avoid 'surges' of patients at A&E

    LateralThink's comment 20 Nov 2017 11:44am

    Clearly designed by someone with little knowledge of general practice in the more rural areas. My former practice was a semi-rural one, and it could take a full hour to get there, do the medicine, and get back. So if I do a single visit early in the day, and then get called again to that same village, I will have taken 2 hrs out of my day instead of the 1 hr 15mins it would have taken to do both visits together, in the afternoon.
    Is the entire health service run by people who live within metropolitan areas, I wonder?

  • Ground-breaking court ruling paves way for doctors to take GMC to tribunal

    LateralThink's comment 16 Nov 2017 2:39pm

    re Copernicus.....Or to quote Lord Denning from the end of the last century: “Be you ever so high, the law is above you”.

  • I voted Brexit for the NHS – now show us the money

    LateralThink's comment 13 Nov 2017 12:01pm

    It seems to have escaped the notice of a lot of people, but the £350 for the NHS' could only become available AFTER we have formally left, and cease paying into the EU coffers. That can't happen until March 2019 at least, and if we also choose to pay a 'divorce bill' it will be a long time before the financial benefits of Brexit become available.

  • BMA rejects NHS England proposals for blanket ban on OTC prescribing

    LateralThink's comment 06 Nov 2017 10:42am

    Why is it that NHS England - which should be the absolute leader in the NHS - has apparently such a weak understanding of the relevant law? It smacks remarkably of the blind leading the sighted.

  • Government issues final guidance on new GP data protection requirements

    LateralThink's comment 05 Nov 2017 9:15pm

    Usual NHS practice -- any complex, timeconsuming or difficult requirements - delegate it to those on the front line.

  • GPs 'can't abandon their contracts with the NHS', says Hunt

    LateralThink's comment 01 Nov 2017 10:23am

    anon2016 suggests that not much will happen: and I agree with him -- it won't happen actively. But without a doubt it will happen (passively), because there will come a point in every professional's life when he/she simply won't be able to cope any more and will then resign.... leaving his/her patients in the abyss.
    I have said for decades that we won't save the NHS if we refuse to go on strike. No-one will listen until it's too late and by then General Practice will have collapsed permanently. What we always needed to do was to stand up to the the NHS political bullies and give them a very firm ultimatum... and then walk away from the NHS if nothing happens.
    Sadly, it's almost certainly too late now.

  • GP leaders prepare for explosive vote on practices leaving the NHS

    LateralThink's comment 31 Oct 2017 5:13pm

    What is the alternative to the Bedfordshire LMC's motion? That if practices fail, their doctors then leave primary care entirely? Who will that help? On the other hand, if these doctors stay in general practice (but offer themselves privately) at least some patients will get some primary care).
    The motion is simply calling on GPC to provide guidance and support to help them do this more effectively, should they choose.
    The alternative? - probably no GPs of any sort, in the entire country, in a very short time. That won't help anyone.

  • Chief GP inspector admits practices have received unfair CQC ratings

    LateralThink's comment 21 Oct 2017 7:34am

    Probably the most unpleasant effect of CQC is what it does to morale generally. Prof Field says that perhaps they ought to rate more practices as outstanding. Too right they should! What message does it give off to everyone else if you can bust a gut over your practice and not be acknowledged for it? Bearing in mind just how hard GPs work, in the most tiring and stressful of circumstances, being told repeatedly that you 'could do better' is simply a kick in the teeth. If it wanted to demoralise primary care, CQC probably couldn't devise a better way to do it.

  • NHS drops plans for peer review of all GP referrals, says BMA

    LateralThink's comment 07 Oct 2017 10:47am

    Do you want to know a really good way to reduce referrals? Use the e-Referrals Advice and Guidance feature. Research suggests you'll probably be able to reduce your referrals hugely as a result.

  • NHS England claims nearly 3,000 practice staff added to reduce GP workload

    LateralThink's comment 28 Sep 2017 12:15pm

    Hunt's original promise was for 5,000 more GPs, not HCAs, nurses, pharmacists, staff. He needs to be reminded of this, bluntly and called out for his spinning of the situation.

  • CCG instates minimum 12-week referral waiting times

    LateralThink's comment 27 Sep 2017 12:23pm