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Dinah's week starts with pay and dandruff concerns, but it's all nicely rounded off...


On time for practice manager meeting – discuss staff appraisals and job descriptions. Time to think about pay again. I agree that staff have coped valiantly with challenges of premises extension and new computer yet still manage to get a hot cup of filter coffee on my desk on demand. Realise it might have been better to ask people to contribute to my 360° feedback after, rather than before, offering a pay rise. Still, too late now – I get the results later this week (slight nervous flutter when I think about it).

Surgery – first patient covered with huge psoriatic plaques and shedding flakes everywhere. Delay second patient while I search for vacuum cleaner but can't find it so give up and call her in. She asks if that's my dandruff all over the floor and have I tried Head and Shoulders? So I say no, not me – must be the practice manager.

On her way out, patient bumps into PM coming in with vacuum and I overhear snatches of conversation about hairdressers. Decide to keep a low profile and somehow manage a whole morning without coffee; amazing what you can do when necessary. Slip away quietly and hope PM will forget by tomorrow.


Off to PCT to catch up with emails. There's evidence of considerable upheaval on the 'estates' front. The 'parenting skills team' have moved into our office – very welcome as they have bowls of fruit, flowers and pretty coffee mugs, unlike the last lot. Premises obviously confusing everyone – bump into a manager I haven't seen for a while, lurking behind huge mounds of files and suitcases (belonging to the 'clear desk policy' officer).

She can't get anything done while waiting to move to another building. Apparently it's even worse for Finance who carted their enormous archive down the road only to find that Immunisation had just moved in, so they had to bring it all back. No wonder PBC budgets were delayed.

Rush to hair appointment at lunchtime to see practice manager in earnest discussion with hairdresser. Pang of guilt. But she emerges looking so pleased I offer congratulations on her new look, and relax.


Meeting with 'personal coach' for 360° feedback: she insists I sit down and do breathing exercises before giving me the results. I'm terrified. Numerous (anonymous) contributors helpfully completed the online questionnaire but luckily nothing unexpected is revealed. But I do take issue with one comment: 'Dinah is very well rounded'. Before I get carried away, coach suggests I include a little more in my PDP than dieting, so decide on 'personal impact' development. Look out everyone!

Dr Dinah Roy is a GP in Spennymoor, chair of Sedgefield PBC group and joint PEC chair of County Durham and Darlington PCTs

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