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Cancer, global financial crisis and all wars 'are GPs fault', Daily Mail claims

GPs' newspaper of choice, the Daily Mail, has stepped up its crusading message with three stories which set a new standard in GP bashing. It couldn't be pay negotiation time could it?

GPs' newspaper of choice, the Daily Mail, has stepped up its crusading message with three stories which set a new standard in GP bashing. It couldn't be pay negotiation time could it?



Today comes the news that out-of-date GPs are sentencing thousands of cancer sufferers to death because they're failing to diagnose their illness in time. I paraphrase only slightly.

In the story, headlined '10000 Britons die needlessly every year as GPs with out-of-date training miss vital cancer symptoms', based on an eminently reasonable Cancer Research UK report, Mail reporter Daniel Martin writes 'GPs too often miss symptoms or do not send enough patients for tests.'

He goes on 'In some cases their training is simply out of date. The report says some people are deterred from seeking treatment by the difficulty of getting an appointment.'

Predictably the article doesn't miss the opportunity to mention that the 'failure of GPs' comes despite their pay 'soaring to more than £100,000 a year'.

What guff. The nub of the Cancer Research report, that there is too little public awareness about cancer symptoms, meaning many victims do not see their GP until it is too late to save their lives, is mentioned but only as a throw away point - seeming less important as a factor than getting an appointment with a GP.

One would think the Mail, with its vast numbers of middle-aged, female and elderly readers slap bang in the highest cancer risk groups would focus more on this aspect. No, of course not. Because there's no easy target there. Too much explaining to do.

Moving on, yesterday the Mail's bait was the Kings Fund report on PBC. How did on earch could it carve an angle out of something as desperately drab as PBC, you ask. Easy. It's that 'GPs 'waste' 100m NHS fund set aside for local care'.

Apparently, family doctors are simply pocketing cash set aside to improve local services or routinely commissioning themselves to do it.

Of course, as GPs know there are enough problems with PBC to make your eyes bleed with frustration, but...that'd take too much explaining. Rubbish managers? Too dull. Dreadful bureacracy? Boring. Ill conceived scheme in the first place? Too complicated. GPs pocketing your hard earned money? Gotcha!

Our 'favourite' story though, for its sheer absurd, laughable, OTTness is 'GPs are focusing on patients who bring in bonuses'. Now there might be a fair point in the report that conditions not in the QOF don't get the same focus as those that are.

The QOF an incentive scheme. If you incentivise something, it gets more attention. That's life.

But it's the third line in the story that's the killer. So brazen. So shameless.

GPs 'are ignoring elements of care such as compassion because they do not get extra cash for being nice to patients.'

Why didn't the Mail just come right out and say 'GPs are money-grabbing, heartless bastards who would mug you in the waiting room for a quid and are really hoping you'll die so they don't have to waste their time on your pathetic existence' and get it over with?

So why is the knife being plunged in further and twisted harder this week? The week the Government's pay negotiators put forward a below inflation 1.5% pay recommendation for GPs.

Might Mail editor Paul Dacre have had a chat with his good pal and former chancellor - the man who signed off the GP contract that has embarrassed his Government ever since - the Prime Minister?

Pulse Team Blog The Daily Mail on GPs' response to the QOF The Daily Mail on GPs' response to the QOF

GPs 'are ignoring elements of care such as compassion because they do not get extra cash for being nice to patients.'

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