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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Childcare problems plague Dinah as she develops a plan of inaction

Monday

Error! Error! Thought children were back at school this morning but 10-year-old still off – so late for surgery, accompanied by little helper and X-box 360.

Meet practice manager – IM&T DES action plan needs sorting. We've had quite enough action already, implementing new computer system, plus Choose and Book still doesn't work. In fact, nobody can remember how to do it any more. We consider having an inaction plan instead and discuss purchase of massage chair for waiting room.

CPR training from paramedics booked for afternoon – invite10-year-old to join in (an avid Scrubs watcher, I'm sure he's picked up the basics already) but he says: 'Nah, we did that in year five'. Hey – I'm talking about cardiopulmonary resuscitation! 'Yep, I know. You give them

a good shake, press on their heart 15 times, pinch their nose really tight, pull it back hard and blow in their mouth twice.' Somewhat astonished, I had to admit I was impressed – although please God never let me be a casualty when he's around.

He returns to the computer with a superior air. After the session, all I can manage is: 'Well, it's 30 to two these days you know. Anyway, we got to play with the defib – it's fun, it tells you what to do!'

Wednesday

PBC. Ambulance bookings once again causing headaches for practices – the outpatient transport system is unwieldy and crazy too. Vehicles trundling around the county, patients stranded, even abandoned. Practices have many times dipped into their petty cash to cover taxi costs when ambulances don't arrive – £60 per trip not unusual. Suggest we audit practice workload and log issues – should be reporting them as critical incidents too. Perhaps we could set up our own call centre, we'd need some IT developments though... I'll put that in the inaction plan.

Thursday

Waste a few hours trying to unblock email inboxes – three blocked, one working but can't fathom which is which as they are all forwarding the same message between them. Note – another one for the IM&T inaction plan.

Rush to catch a plane then hire a car; attending a meeting in a slightly inaccessible venue. Notice a defibrillator in a locked, glass-fronted cabinet in car-hire depot. Get into discussion with staff. It's (fortunately) never been used; the first-aider isn't here, sorry they don't know anything. What if someone collapsed? We agree that as long as there's a 10-year-old child around they'd probably be fine. Thank heavens for year five. And Scrubs.

Dinah Roy is a GP in Spennymoor and chair of Sedgefield PBC group

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