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Dunkirk-spirit singlehanders need to be rescued

From Dr Richard Adcock, Alfriston

I have just realised how many singlehanders are at risk of being swamped by the deluge of extra work. Only the very best will survive as much of this work isn't delegatable. For example:

  • Registering for VAT by 1 April (dispensing practice)
  • Developing appointments and repeat prescriptions by internet
  • Using intelligent paper-light scanning programs (eg DocMan)
  • Electronic transfer of records and letters
  • Attending meetings about probity (post-2005 QOF) and then ­ last week ­ a post-probity meeting
  • PCT chief executives inviting themselves to practice meetings
  • Pre- and post-QOF meetings
  • GP forum meetings
  • Senior partner meetings at the PCT
  • Prescribing incentive scheme meetings and associated homework.

This is just part of the tidal wave threatening to destabilise us.

I had a vision of singlehanders throughout the UK fighting on in true British spirit. I pondered how much anguish, suicide, death, alcoholism and depression (not to mention the fall-out on patients from failing practices) could be saved if only these overworked GPs could be found homes in bigger partnerships sooner rather than later. The alternative is to suffer a slow, painful, death.

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