Posted by: David Turner18 January 2017
Do you pine for those halcyon days when the NHS was on its knees?
That era now so distant, when the health service was still waddling forward on sore and bruised but nonetheless functioning patellae.
These are the reasons general practice cannot be constantly tinkered with
It is only now as it lies prone and gasping in its own waste, the occasional involuntary jerk of a withered limb the only sign that fragile life still flickers in its battered form, that we can see how good we had it when the NHS was merely hobbled.
However all is not lost even at this darkest hour, like the second coming, Theresa May has stepped up to raise it Lazarus like from the throws of death with a single declaration:
‘GPs will work 8-8, 7 days a week’
Oh thanks be given to Saint Theresa, statues will be raised in your honour.
It was like listening to a delusional toddler demanding the moon wrapped in pink ribbon for Christmas.
It got worse though. If you heard a particular radio interview with one of our leaders defending us I’m sure, like me, you’re still waiting to have your buttocks surgically unclenched. It was painful.
This leader seemed to be attempting to adopt the politicians method of answering a different question to the one posed. This is irritating when MPs do it, but at least they do it fairly slickly. I’m sad to say I thought the GP defending our position sounded like a nervous sixth former’s debut performance at a debating society.
Could I have done better? On this occasion I think I could have.
Stick to the facts:
- GPs are self-employed not direct NHS employees.
- GPs see patients for the number of hours they are contracted to each week. Any change in this contract would need to be renegotiated and cannot be rewritten on the random whim of a prime minister, full stop.
Forget other arguments, these are the key reasons why general practice cannot be constantly tinkered with like an old car.
Then repeat message ad infinitum in slightly varying forms until the interviewer is thoroughly sick of you. Well it works for MPs.
Dr David Turner is a GP in west London