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CAMHS won't see you now

Obesity is just not the GP's responsibility

Jobhunter has found a solution to patient satisfaction worries ­ GPs who can entertain while they consult

Many of us have suffered this year from a mutant form of Q fever: an annual febrile panic characterised by an eruption of target spots and spread by Contractia burnoutii and worry about how our patients scored us.

(Actually, if you have scored with your consumers, embrace modesty; avoid those particular Read codes lest your hard-won diabetic points are removed as a penalty).

Nationwide focus groups have concluded that Patients' Satisfaction is almost an anagram for Fantastic Piss Iota Net: yes, the apostrophe has been sacrificed, but I need to bond with my secretary.

Our faithful flocks were subjected to torture by questionnaire and bravely responded with their considered opinions about our services. No real surprises: 75 per cent were reasonably content with our listening skills. How can they tell? 71.8 per cent of my punters do not have English as a first, second or third language; 10.2 per cent have headphones or a mobile permanently applied to their pinnae, even when other orifices are penetrated by instruments.

The rest, the BESTE (Blessed Elderly Salt of The Earth), get a pants deal from the health service but are embarrassingly grateful.

One question that slightly stumped me related to 'satisfaction with how much doctor involves patient'. Local nursing shortages have resulted in incidents where patients have had to flush the surgery loo. And one Saturday last August a lady with (small) fibroids had to fit her own IUD. Should this enhance my income?

There is always space on these questionnaires for patients to free-text and the suggestions for practice improvement usually hinge on two factors: more time in the consultation and more fun in the waiting room.

So, dear Jobhunter, my practice has responded with alacrity to patient demand: we seek a flexible, careering schemer, a double-jointed hoofer who can ENTERTAIN!

While I lengthen my consultations to eight minutes, you will be spinning kidney dishes on forceps, jumping through cap-fitting hoops, juggling with syringes, and clowning with buckets of body fluids.

Audience participation is to be encouraged; engage a Spanish-speaking heartsink, and involve them in a Basil Fawlty sketch.

Set your clinical skills to music: demonstrate condom fitting to A Hard Day's Night, display support stockings to Life is a Cabaret. Performance related bonuses are offered to those who can prick the waiting room populace with flu jabs while simultaneously pouring cocoa, rolling joints, and taking blood pressures.

A Magic Circle qualification is desirable, and enthusiasm for spells (Hogwarts references) would be beneficial. Any applicant who can demonstrate their ability to saw a social worker in half, or make a flock of managers vanish, can expect a Golden Wandshake.

Please apply to our practice manager, who has almost completed her Ringmaster's course and is very excited about her new whip.

Dr Sally Whittet is a GP in south London

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