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Cancel my holiday because of swine flu? When pigs fly...

Talk that PCTs are asking GPs to forgo their holiday in order to man the swine flu front line .

Talk that PCTs are asking GPs to forgo their holiday in order to man the swine flu front line .

Oh gawd. As someone who hasn't had a holiday for too long – ie since the last one – I've been waiting for this. And there it is: in one of the GP fora I browse from time to time, someone saying that her PCT is suggesting GPs should consider cancelling holidays in the light of the pig flu epidemic.

There was a time when I'd have considered doing the noble thing: when I felt enthusiastic, vocational and valued, in other words. Trouble is, these days, we're micromanaged and scrutinised to the point that we're reduced – in our own eyes, to a degree, and certainly in those of the public – to the status of just another employee. No real sense of dedication any more and certainly no feeling of wanting to go that extra mile: it's been crushed by a culture of tick box and tick off.

PCTs have to make their minds up. Either we're naughty children who have to be kept in line. Or we're responsible adults doing a grown up job, who should be left to get on with it. They can't have it both ways just to suit the prevailing level of flu.

So cancel my holidays? Sorry, it's more than my job's worth.

Not that the swine flu is all doom and gloom. There's been talk that the pandemic may lead to the suspension of QOF. Presumably, appraisal and the like would follow suit. So we wouldn't be crunching numbers, or filing ‘evidence' in our ridiculous little ‘appraisal folders', or calling patients in for checks that they don't want but which give them the opportunity to say, ‘While I'm here' any more.

No. We'd be spending all day seeing patients who are ill, and dishing out antibiotics, just like the good old days.

Joy! It makes the pandemic seem quite attractive, and would almost be enough to recover that sense of worth. Almost, but not quite. Because I'm still heading to the Dordogne, whether the PCT likes it or not.

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