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At the heart of general practice since 1960

The terror of paperwork

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The most annoying thing for me, as a blogger, is that any of the really good lines I might dream up about the ‘GPs told to specify counter-terrorism lead when applying for enhanced services contracts’ story have already been taken, such has been the massive response from readers. A special mention, though, must go to, ‘Well, kiss my Glock’.

So I really feel I have nothing to add, yet I must. Because, even though we seem, for some time, to have entered a parallel universe where no bureaucratic hoop or political initiative is too batshittingly bonkers to impose on a dazed, confused and thoroughly downtrodden GP workforce, this one literally made me fall off my chair.

The trouble is, of course, that if you actually have to begin to explain to people why this is so psychotically thought-disordered, then, by definition, they won’t understand. So as language won’t work, let me try a different, numerical, tack. Add together the particulars, the service conditions and general conditions of the NHS standard contract for enhanced services and you find you’re confronted with 210 pages.

Let’s suppose that each one of those pages has just one insane initiative like the current, headline-hitting, terrorism-busting ‘Prevent’ strategy, and I think we’d all agree that’s quite likely. As the ‘Prevent’ strategy, with which we’re supposed to be familiar, itself has 116 pages then, assuming the other initiatives are of much the same length, then we have 210x116 = 24,360 pages to get through just to sort out enhanced services.

That, to me, is in itself an act of terrorism. And as counter-terrorism lead for my practice, I need to bring it to someone’s attention. Not sure who. No doubt it’s in one of those pages somewhere.

Dr Tony Copperfield is a GP in Essex. You can follow him on Twitter @DocCopperfield

 

Readers' comments (4)

  • Watch out Tony, MI6 are watching and listening - possibly on "System One" if you have it. There's bound to be an icon on there for them mixed with the other couple of thousand.

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  • system 1- it is the sharing kind--
    it has got read codes for various "chicken" dishes...check it out

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  • GP's should be looking after patients not playing with bits of paper to prove they do their job. If the government worked half as hard as GP's we wouldn't be in the mess we are in now!

    Perhaps their level of trust in GP's is reflected by the way they work?

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  • absolutely insane dead destructive hand of bureaucracy beyond all reason and completely worthless trash like the fools designing such unbelievable mindless idiocy..beyond parody if it wasn't so symptomatic of a failed administration so unfit for its purpose that its health initiatives actually damage patient care..as each day goes on their 'real' world has caught up and raced beyond copperfield's excellent columns..i now regard the latter as fact.

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From: Copperfield

Dr Tony Copperfield is a jobbing GP in Essex with more than a few chips on his shoulder