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Croissants and condoms distract Dinah from her appraisal


Desperately preparing for my appraisal, booked for Friday. I can only ever do these things at the last minute. Have locked myself out of toolkit website so waste ages looking for Form 3 on e-mails; abandon the exercise as late for sexual health meeting. Remind secretary to get croissants in for appraiser – don't want him too hypoglycaemic for the occasion; he may need help to stay awake. Does galantamine work in coffee?

Sexual health meeting – tell anecdote about last year's FPA dinner; we all had little boxes of condoms to take home. I thought they were chocolates but only realised on giving them to the children – so quickly hid them in kitchen drawer.

Discuss integration of sexual health and family planning services but problem is much of the service is not subject to Payment by Results. How could PBC help? Where can we disinvest? Probably hospital gynae work, but overall we can't move forward until whole system is on PBR and we develop local tariff.


A miracle – find last year's PDP and it's completed. Search practice manager's room for portfolio file of certificates and audits. Muse over skills to develop for next year: find better jokes for presentations? A fact-finding mission to look at nurse-led sexual health services in other countries (perhaps even a world tour)? Form 3 is coming along, should finish it tonight.

PCT – spend ages wading through new white paper on regulation of health professionals. Note that 360° feedback is proposed as a requirement for revalidation. We stand at the dawn of a new mini-industry of time-consuming form filling, trying to find volunteers and analysis.

As local appraisal lead, I've already been approached by various firms offering it to GPs at several hundred pounds a shot. The fact none of these tools is validated for use in the GP setting doesn't seem a barrier so far...


Appraisal interview – chocolate croissants a big help. Settled for PDP objectives of self-directed learning on tariff-setting and business planning plus family planning update. Long discussion about 360° feedback and whether to set up a company.

Home late, hunt in kitchen drawer for corkscrew. That's funny – where did all those condoms go?

  • Dinah Roy is a GP in Spennymoor, chair of Sedgefield PBC group and co-PEC chair of County Durham PCT

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