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GPs go forth

GPs urged to show ‘Churchillian spirit’

GPs should be more willing to dip into their own pockets to help protect patient care, the chair of the NHS Alliance has said. 

Dr Michael Dixon called for GPs to show ‘red-blooded passion’ and ‘Churchillian spirit’, giving the example of his own practice, where partners have self-funded a health facilitator to organise public health initiatives for the past few years.

He told Pulse: ‘I am not saying that this is what we should all do, that we should reduce our pay. But what I am saying is that there is a bit of give and take here and what really matters is that these things happen. I think we need to summon up that Herculean, Churchillian spirit that we had in prior years.’

Dr Dixon’s comments came as a new-look NHS Alliance was unveiled at the conference. It will focus on advising GP members wanting to take advantage of ‘the full effect of clinical commissioning’ by getting together across practice boundaries to deliver additional services as companies or social enterprises.

But GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman said: ‘Spirit and passion do not pay the staff nor develop premises. They do not enable days to lengthen to 28 hours. Sadly, Churchill is dead.’

Readers' comments (25)

  • We do dip into our own pockets to pay for Practice Nurses, Dispensers, Receptionists, heating, lighting, premises (not fully reimbursed) etc etc.

    Why should we 'dip in further' ?

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  • Let common sense prevail

    I agree we should show true Churchillian spirit - and go to war against the government!

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  • Those Good Old days...........when one could be totally crap and still get bottles of single malt at Christmas.......

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  • Hazel Drury

    What utter bollocks. Who is this?

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  • This comment has been moderated

  • Most GPs are Churchillian by working stupidly long hours and taking on everyone elses work load. I am damned if I am going to give my money away as well. What a totally stupid comment.

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  • Tom Caldwell

    Perhaps if Dr Dixon opened up his accounts of his income(s) then we could assess how this is achieved. So his message is that GPs should do even more and essentially pay for the privilege of doing more?

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  • errr No. I don't think so.

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  • Peter Swinyard

    One of the few times I find myself in disagreement with Mike Dixon (assuming he has been correctly reported). In smaller practices we already dig deep to pay our staff properly. Without past patronage, in my practice our global sum income per notional patient is £60/head to provide everything all year (other neighbours receive £80-£90 to provide same care). Partners' incomes already 8% down last year - and 5% year before. There just is no room for paying for more staff to do politically mandated work "get the GP to do it/see you/screen you/cure your dementia" Back to the principles of the 2004 contract - no extra work without extra resources. Stick to that at all costs.

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  • I didn't realise that Michael Dixon still was a GP. I assumed that the only thing he did was to go from conference to conference spouting meaningless platitudes. Doesn't he sleep in the back of the van with all the banners and podiums so he can travel to the next one?

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  • Vinci Ho

    There is only so much Jedi can do . If the evil empire carries on the way it is , all the Jedi will be sacrificed for nothing . Too bad some ex Jedi are willing to dance with the emperor.......

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  • Completely out of touch and needs a reminder that general practice is a funded service - imagine asking the encroaching private sector to work for free. Wake up and smell the coffee Dr Dixon

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  • The NHS Alliance has gone into partnership with the NAPC. They were the 2 key cheerleaders that helped the Health and Social Care Act acheive royal assent.
    They are not represetative of GPs or the profession. The NAPC arose out of the Conservative Medical Society.
    It is time that these organisations and their leaders were held to account for their cheerleading of NHS reforms, which are designed to dismantle the NHS and hand over large swathes of it to the private sector.
    It is very telling the Dixon of NHS Alliance and the NAPC leadership are now in such prominent positions.
    I think GPs should be asking exactly how many GPs belong to these organisations. We also need to know who funds them. Let's have some transparency

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  • Really sorry, Michael, but my charitable donations are already sorted for this year. Ask me later. Bye.

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  • GPs in the south have, for years, been dipping into their own pockets to keep the NHS going

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  • "imagine asking the encroaching private sector to work for free."

    General Practice is the private sector.

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  • OBE on the way anytime soon ?

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  • I agree with Peter Swinyard. I work in a small rural practice and I cant see how we are going to survive the NCB changes in the next few years never mind digging deep into our pockets.

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  • The man is a complete idiot we have been subsidising nhs got past 5 years. I presume this article was published to wind us all up, looks like it has worked!

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  • Well I don't agree with what I am supposed to have said either. It certainly didn't include "GPs should be more willing to dig in to their own pockets to help protect patient care". I cited my partners contributing personally to our practice's health initiatives as something that other practices should not be expected to do Certainly we have to take our fair share of financial hardship and commission heroically in spite...but currently as GPs we are not being treated fairly. Increasing workload and decreasing income are not sustainable.

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  • If Dr Dixon has been quoted out of context for the purposes of journalistic soundbite, as he appears to state abouve, I think Pulse should retract the artictle and offer an apology to him.

    We have enough misery heaped on us by the current government without artifically creating rifts between GPs. Shame on you, Pulse.

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  • GPs do all the giving. Government do all the taking. Is this guy some kind of a joke?

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  • Why doesn't the GPC down tools and let the NHS Alliance do all the negotiating for us? The BMA's attempts to keep this profession one which will attract recruits are being totally undermined by these undemocratic Government lackies.

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  • I am relieved Dr Dixon has been misquoted as I was about to "give up and go home" if one of CCG's most influential leaders was prepared to "deprofessionalise" us and practically say we should pay for the privilege of working! Get your quotes right Pulse-however it has provoked a lot of comments!

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  • Did the gentleman in the bow tie forget that before the new contract changes came in, there seemed to be a recruitment crisis in general practice. With comments like these, we are likely to find ourselves heading towards another one...

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  • Dr Dixon, surely you have had enough media exposure to demand you view a final edited version of your text before it goes to press? Only him upstairs will know the truth!

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