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Gold, incentives and meh

#GPnews: GP leader prescribes Pokemon Go

16:25 And finally this week, the RCGP Scotland chair Dr Miles Mack has had a revelation - with an unusual prescription.

With this, and the use of OMG, is this a sign of RCGP modernisation in action? 

13:45 NICE has issueddraft guidelines calling for wider supply of condoms to reduce rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including to gay men, while health professionals should assess young people under the age of 16.

It said that approximately 435,000 STIs were diagnosed in England in 2015, including 200,000 cases of chlamydia, while syphilis and gonorrhoea rates have risen by 76% and 53% respectively between 2012 and 2015.

The Family Planning Association estimate treatment of STIs cost the NHS approximately £620 million in 2014.

Christine Carson, programme director of the Centre for Guidelines at NICE, said: 'The recent increase in rates of gonorrhoea and syphilis amongst men who have sex with men has been attributed to high levels of sex without using a condom.

'If local authorities and other commissioners can work together to increase condom availability and use amongst high-risk groups we could significantly reduce the rates of STIs.''

11:00 It’s that time of the year for the Daily Mail’s character assassination of GP receptionists again. In this particularly vicious attack, Carol Sarler, a columnist, claims that ’haughty’ receptionists force patients to change their behaviour. 

She wrote: 'Rarely has a caricature been more accurate than that of the typical GP receptionist: the all-powerful gatekeepers who often stand between patient and doctor, determined at all costs to keep them apart, spectacularly exceeding their authority and seemingly fuelled by a thirst for power — while having neither the education, nor qualification to achieve it in their own right.

’More and more, people are forced to subject themselves to the selective filter of the GP receptionist — and while I make no excuses for the GPs who choose to hide behind them, I make fewer still for the behaviour of their protectors.

’One word that comes up time and again to describe their rudeness and scornful haughtiness is “rottweiler”.’

What a charmer.

9:30 We lead today on our investigation that has revealed that CCGs have been ploughing money into general practice. The investigation, which received full data from 48 CCGs, found that spending on enhanced services increased by 75% from 2013/14 to 2016/17.

Read our news story here, our full investigation here, and our editorial on our Good News issue here.

Got a story? Let us know by tweeting the hashtag #GPnews or emailing


Readers' comments (4)

  • do not criticise until you have tried it please.

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  • And even worse than the original article are the disgraceful comments from the readership that show absolutely no appreciation of the pressures facing general practice or how hard we all work to provide Primary Care Services on a shoestring budget. I can only summise that many of the comments are from the sort of people who think it is acceptable to swear at our practice receptionists on a daily basis whilst they are just doing their best to help them.

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  • Don't be so insulting to Rottweilers !

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  • Our receptionist are more frontline than us and take a lot of hot air and abuse from patients buffering us from the impact. By the time the patient access the doctor, he has calmed down and is quite docile unlike the hostile bull at the Reception.
    We've got to support our staff and appreciate what they do. They are human but not allowed to err and society just wants them to take it lying down.

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