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Independents' Day

A GP retires

Dr Nadine Jane Kale reflects on a life in general practice 

Near thirty years I have lived and breathed

in Chesterfield, as your GP.

A Holy Well of humble healers,

now become a dying breed.


I’ve cared for you with all my heart,

for General Practice is an art.

Offered my soul from the start

and hope that I have done my part.


I have listened close to hearts and minds,

felt swellings, both of pain and pride.

Looked at life and into ears,

deep into your tears and fears.


I have taken the hits from the powers that be,

taken the kicks from the CQC.

Poked and prodded only you know where!

Talked of things only GPs dare.


Supporting all, no matter how troubled,

slaves of oblivion, pain or of struggle.

Happy or sad, in doom and in crying,

starting life’s path, or in death and in dying.


I have offered a smile, for laughter is healing.

Ten minutes of care (or more if needed!)

A mantra of hope, my name in its meaning,

all shared with a dose of gentle teasing?


But it seems the Hunt had a view to a kill,

and I am wounded deep beyond all words.

No rescue here from the knights in red,

more he drove deeper still the blade.


Now the NHS has come to be,

a straight jacket for those like me.

I have tried to keep its sanity,

keeping it human, hopefully.


And here amidst a perfect storm,

I face that battle every dawn.

Tired of rowing ’gainst the flow,

perhaps now is the time to go.


For faith, unlike hope, can die,

and when faith dies, so too its friends:

Commitment to the cause shall end,

and Constancy will fade and bend.


But hope will always rise again,

though things can’t always stay the same.

A hospital for those in pain,

new shelter for us from the rain.


So now I hand across the baton,

to new bearers of this burden.

I leave you in supporting arms,

of those still riding out the storms.


And for my very last prescription;

one for all; may I just say;

Please be kind to one another,

love and care helps ALL in pain.

Dr Nadine Jane Kale is a GP in Chesterfield, Derbyshire



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Readers' comments (8)

  • lovely.

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  • Happy days. One of the last to beat the pension cap. Enjoy your retirement. Live long and prosper.

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  • Very poignant......Enjoy your retirement ........very jealous.....

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  • David Banner

    With Primary Care collapsing
    We knew our goose was cooked
    With all the partners leaving
    I really was Donald Ducked

    Alone as Last Man Standing
    I tried to close the list
    The CCG ignored me
    My letters all dismissed

    Thousands spent on adverts
    With not a sole reply
    CQC call me inadequate
    They wouldn’t tell me why

    Fortunes spent on locums
    Though rarely are they found
    12 hour days for nothing
    I’m run into the ground

    Patients write complaints
    Why can’t they ever be seen?
    No appointments any more
    The worst it’s ever been

    The rent has doubled again
    My income shrivelled away
    The lease has 20 years to run
    Looks like I’m here to stay

    I’m hounded for appraisal
    And slated from all sides
    “Lazy GPs on golf course”
    The Daily Mail derides

    Should I turn to God?
    Or should I turn to drink?
    There’s no one listening any way
    And I haven’t time to think

    I used to be so happy
    Healthy and secure
    I thought I had it all worked out
    Now I’m not so sure

    Should I enter bankruptcy
    And close the surgery down?
    Or carry on regardless
    And slowly, surely drown.

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  • @ David Banner- I would take legal advice and leave this toxic environment. I would phone in sick until then.

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  • David Banner awesome poetry. I salute you.

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  • David, and I though I was in trouble. Bless you, you've turned your soul inside out. Surely, there must be some human beings somewhere in NHS who can extricate you from this dismal state.

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  • Enjoy your retirement Nadine, and keep on writing!
    Great poem David, but so sorry to hear all this. Sounds like a nightmare.

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