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My personal consultation checklist

Following the recent news that surgeons are to use a simple checklist before, during and after operations reduces death and complication rates, I present my own personal consultation checklist.

Following the recent news that surgeons are to use a simple checklist before, during and after operations reduces death and complication rates, I present my own personal consultation checklist.



Surgeons are generally go-getting up and at 'em kinda guys, good with their hands but never the brightest stars in the intellectual firmament.

A few tick boxes to make sure that they have, for example, marked the correct leg with their Magic Marker before they get going with the Black and Decker can't do any harm.

So in an effort to improve the quality of NHS GP consultations allow me to publish, for the first time, my own personal consultation checklist.

BEFORE calling the first patient on the appointment list

CHECK computer is plugged in and switched on.

CHECK that previous user has signed off correctly. If not, access and print off any incriminating e-mails between previous user and third parties.

CHECK condition of battery in Bullshit Detector and switch on.

CHECK that first patient has actually arrived. You don't want to sound like a needy plonker desperate for work as you plead over the Tannoy - "Mrs Pratt? Mrs Pratt – are you there? Is Mrs Pratt in the building? Please, has anyone seen Mrs Pratt?" and so on.

ASSESS risk of substantial blood loss during consultation.

CONFIRM that results of X-Rays, blood tests and scans ordered by gullible registrars, hearing Mrs Pratt's litany of barely credible symptomatology for the first time are available. If "YES" and results are normal, continue. If "NO" or "YES" but results are abnormal, abort consultation and divert Mrs Pratt to the Doctor who ordered the tests.

• AFTER calling first patient

CHECK that person who entered room when Mrs Pratt was called is actually Mrs Pratt and not that batty old dear from number 17 who makes a beeline for any door that opens.

CONFIRM that Mrs Pratt actually wants to talk about herself and not about her husband, William Henry, or one of her children.

SET kitchen timer to alarm after 8 minutes.

CHECK computerised QOF point alerts for money earning opportunities. If "YES" abort consultation and send patient to Practice Nurse. If "NO" utilise all-purpose open-ended invitation for Mrs Pratt to present the history of the presenting complaint, "What do you want from me?"

• BEFORE prescribing medication

CHECK that Mrs Pratt is still using white pills, orange capsules, grey granules, yellow ointment and buff suppositories as per repeat prescription list.

CONFIRM that Mrs Pratt has developed no new medication allergies since last consultation last Tuesday.

INFORM Mrs Pratt of likelihood that today's prescription for blue linctus might interact pharmacologically with white pills, orange capsules and/or grey granules but should be OK with the ointment and suppositories.

• AFTER closing consultation and escorting Mrs Pratt off the premises

REFLECT on own performance during interaction.

CLEAN & REPLACE equipment used during consultation.

REPLENISH supplies of consumables used during consultation.

Repeat ad nauseam...

Copperfield: my personal consultation checklist Recent Copperfield posts

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I'm banning NRT for January
European GPs must be seriously in the mierda
Bullying GPs into following guidelines is not NICE
Cold sores, Alzheimer's and pork
I've been barred from smearing women

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