Posted by: Tony Copperfield11 March 2013
I keep going over a quote from that nice Jeremy Hunt in this story, and the more I read it, the more it doesn’t make any sense.
He says: ‘We need to free up GP time to play more of a role in looking after the frail elderly before they end up walking through the surgery door.’
Let’s break that down. ‘We need to free up GP time’. That’s a tricksy start, something I can’t put my finger on there doesn’t ring true. ‘To play more of a role in looking after the frail elderly’. That, I’m guessing, would be the frail elderly I already spend 99% of my working day looking after and who are already a key QOF, DES and commissioning target . ‘Before they end up walking through the surgery door’. Before they walk through the surgery door? So on the one hand I’m supposed to increase my input and on the other he wants to reduce their attendance?
I don’t know what madcap thinking is behind this latest pronouncement - probably something to do with telehealth, admissions avoidance schemes or whatever today’s policy-based, evidence-free plate of cack-shaped whimsy happens to be. But I think a further clue is that Mr Hunt is also quoted as saying that, as well as looking after the frail elderly so well that they never have to see us, we should also prevent people with long-term conditions reaching the ‘tipping point’ of needing A&E.
All of which surely indicates that the reason we need to have our time freed up is to hone our carpentry skills: because we’ll only be able to achieve this Nirvana of non-attendance and non-admission by going round to patients’ houses with nails and planks of wood, and boarding up their doors while they’re still inside. And if that doesn’t work, we can use it to crucify ourselves.