Political obviously. No study shown so far has indicated a desire for these services NHS was never set up or 'convenience of patients'. 'Practices told to submit plans on how to boost uptake'??? How about 'there is low uptake because NOBODY WANTS IT! So how about we stop *&^%ing about and concentrate on providing the services that are actually needed?' But no, because no political capital there. Govt not interested in long term future of primary care, and that is the sad truth
I don't expect the powers that be to take this issue seriously anytime soon, I would advise our colleagues to take matters into their own hands by refusing to do unnecessary admin, get better at avoiding the 'guilt factor', and say NO more often to being the community house officer for 2ary care.
Simply too many variables - the devil will be in the detail as ever. Will there be different deals for England compared to Wales etc? Will the indemnity be as comprehensive as the big 3? Will the state-backed deal allow GPs cover if they have been refused by other providers? Who knows...
He is almost Trumpesque in his ability to spin bullshit and evade responsibility. He is really good at ducking the question. 'GPs can do more?!' 'Health secretary can't solve your problems for you?!' - No, we can't do more, and you as HS have been the source of these problems.
He's the longest running HS because he's really good at telling people what they want to hear.
We already are being governed by robots - have you seen any of Teresa May's press conferences? Once we've replaced those idiots with computers who can process actual verifiable data (and who don't vote themselves a 10% annual pay increase) - then we can consider using them for jobs that are actually important
Well done on the article, the content is excellent and ties in with work I've been doing re: 'What is it that differentiates a SUCCESSFUL GP from a good one'?
Autonomy, mastery and purpose. To these I would add Ownership. It has been shown across many studies that people take far more pride in personal satisfaction in work where they were involved in the creation of the final product or service. Of course unless one is either regularly innovating, or has the opportunity to create bespoke services for the target population, it is difficult to take ownership in a practice where things can feel very much 'routine' day to day.
I recognise the concerns of some of my fellow commentators. It doesn't take long for word to spread that it is easy to get a phone consultation, or that it requires only a few key 'trigger phrases', so to speak, to almost guarantee a same day appointment for a patient who wants to game the system.
The other issue is that there are many GPs who really don't like phone triage and/or have had a bad experience of it. I have worked in Out-of-hours for several years and am quite comfortable in the triage settings but some GPs won't even consider it.
I entirely agree though that ceding control of our workday entirely to the whim of the general public is quite ridiculous and unsustainable, and my view is simply to refuse the endless 'See your GP for...' requests that land on our doorstep daily. Taking control back certainly involves re-establishing boundaries so that being able to see a doctor regains its status as a privilege, rather than a God-given right at any time on any whim.
I'm all for further discussion on 'taking back control' - it's about time!
What cracks me up every time is the number of times I've heard 'I'll report you to the GMC' from people who have no idea what the GMC does, nor have an issue remotely related to patient care. If anyone has heard of the GMC giving even the slightest toss about these issues, please let me know - in the meantime , the above 'threateners' get the same response every time - a huge belly laugh and a "F*&% you"
The GMC literally doesn't give a toss about doctors. There is a grand total of half a page devoted to doctors' health on the hundreds of pages of dross it has churned out. I can summarise it in 2 sentences.
'If your health is suffering, go and see your GP'
'Try and maintain a healthy work-life balance'
I am going to make it my personal mission to ensure every doctor in the land understands one fundamental concept that you have already touched on,
"PUT YOURSELF FIRST. YOU ARE OF NO USE TO ANYONE IF YOU ARE DESTROYED"
Patients don't care about our problems (witness the terrible tragedy of Dr Potts the bipolar GP), and damn certain the GMC doesn't. We have to, as a profession, look after ourselves first. No more of this 'patient comes first' BS. Please, get the word out there!
Good article Shaba - It's really important that new and experienced doctors avoid burnout by seeing the whole picture of being a successful doctor. I might add a few points I've picked up over the years
1) Learn to value your time NOW, don't wait til you've completed training. Yes right now you need to do as you're told for the most part, but be clear that there are things that are not part of our duties that you can be roped into, and without being disciplined now, this will get stuck all through your career.
2) Make sure you have time in your schedule for eating and taking breaks. One of the first things that gets forgotten in the work day is 'did I have lunch?' but without adequate nutrition, you just make poorer and poorer decisions as the day goes on. Cutting out meal time is not time-saving in the long run, nor even in the short run
3) Value your hobbies. When the workload feels heavy, hobbies and enjoyable activities start taking a back seat then ignored altogether. But these are vital in keeping mind and spirit together, and in reducing burnout. Make sure time is kept in the week for pastimes, schedule them and don't let anything encroach it
4) Have friends outside of medicine. It doesn't help if you all you think or talk about is medical stuff. Keep the mind fresh - join a club (I recommend cycling!)
5) Meet a financial advisor 4 times a year. Way too many doctors complain about money (or lack thereof) and don't have the first clue of where their money goes. Rich people don't necessarily earn more, they just know how to keep more. Isn't the cost of paying an IFA (say £400/yr) worth it if they save you £1000 in tax or interest payments? Do the maths
Best of luck all you trainees!
To paraphrase 'Family Guy' - If you expect to pull 5,000 extra GPs out of your ass anytime soon, now might be a good time to stand up.
Very interesting and timely article, having had personal experience with issues of stress I can say that the support levels tend to be, and remain to this day, fairly poor. To that end I've done some similar research and talked to some high powered people who run amazing but small scale programs to help doctors in the UK. I'd be delighted to share some insights if you'd like to get in touch at email@example.com