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At the heart of general practice since 1960

It's hoped a nice cup of tea and a chat will save GPs from burnout

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GPs throughout England and Wales are exhausted and heading for burnout, but it’s hoped that a nice cup of tea and a chat with an occupational health doctor will make it all better.

‘General practice is a demanding, stressful profession, but we’re not going to do anything about the demands or the stress,’ admits an important man in charge, ‘because that would be far too expensive and would involve a tedious activity called thinking. So instead of that we’re going to offer GPs a cup of tea and a biscuit on the off chance that it’ll help.’

The plan, which has yet to be finalised, is to offer an over-worked, over-stressed work force the opportunity to dunk a biscuit of their choice into a cup of tea and watch as their problems magically melt away. A bit like… er… well, a bit like a biscuit in a cup of tea.

‘Tea and biccies is all well and good,’ bemoans one burnt-out GP, ‘but if you ask me it’s too little too late. I really don’t think you can fill the empty, endless void that I call my life with a hot beverage and a chat with an occupational health doctor who tries to stay awake by writing everything I say down on a piece of paper. Having said that, mine’s milk no sugar, ta.’

Dr Kevin Hinkley is a GP in Aberdeen.

Readers' comments (4)

  • ooh a nice cup of tea :)

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  • Tea should be on the NHS!

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  • Actually, if you consider the benefits of counselling and how expressing ones feelings and sharing relieves stress, there is something to be said for taking the time, even just with colleagues for an informal cup of tea.

    I am a practice nurse and it is incredibly isolating and it was wonderful when I previously worked in a practice where all the health professionals got together after surgery.

    Now it is like a rat race and all giving and no taking. We are told not to work in silos with regard to communication and patient care, yet we set ourselves up where it is expected to just keep going in a relentless "work smarter" environment.

    I feel burnt out too, undervalued and demotivated with the lack of communication and consideration, ironically not with the patients.

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  • Occupational health and a cup of ytea would not help the GPs loaded with unrealistic ,dangerous to patients demands by their PCTs.
    Perhaps the GMC could help by enforcing on NHS PCTs public health ,not short term economically unproven financial gains ,first in their diretections of patients's care.
    The enforcement of Sulphonyureas as second line in D.M. and Prof Anthony barnet's comments on it are a case in the point.After all GMC is there to protect patients welfare and health

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