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Independents' Day

Light in the LMC conference tunnel


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Speaking about the new contract at the annual LMC conference in Belfast yesterday, BMA GP committee chair said, ‘There is a light ahead of us’.

But what is this light, Richard? What is it?

Is it the beacon light of a brave new future, one full of sweetness as well as lux?

Is it the flash of a light sabre wielded against the evil imperial forces that would control us?

Is it the green light for our contract?

Is it the brake light of a car of retiring GPs which was heading for the hills, and then is it the reverse light as they decide not to leave after all?

Is it a massive lightbox sent to cure our perennial affective disorder?

Is it an amber light urging us to pause and think?

Is it the bedside lamp of GPs poring, late at night, over contractual detail?

Is it the yellow glow of flames as our sense of vocation burns?

Is it the headlights of a runaway contractual train racing to meet an impossible deadline?

Is it the torchlight flash of a lost care navigator looking for a job?

Is it a searchlight trying to pick out 5,000 GPs?

Is it a candle lit for the lost soul of general practice?

Is it the rapid blink of a lighthouse warning us of rocky network service requirements ahead?

Is it a red ‘stop’ light?

Is it a visual aura warning us of a gigantic migraine?

Is it a flashing blue light come, too late, to resuscitate general practice?

In fact, Richard, is there really any light at all? I see the tunnel, but I don’t see the light. I don’t know what the aim of this contract really is, nor who is really driving it. It’s a matter of faith. And I don’t see the light. Maybe I’m blind. Maybe you’re deluded. So where is it? Where is the light?

Dr Tony Copperfield is a GP in Essex

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Readers' comments (13)

  • Where's Optimus?

    Due to budget cuts ..
    The light at the end of the tunnel
    has been switched off...

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  • Where's Optimus?

    Do they mean the carrot on a stick ..
    dangling ahead of us..

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  • Where's Optimus?

    Time for all RCGP/BMA/NHS England leaders
    to declare all conflicts of interests
    (have you been bought ??
    or are you just hypeing up on incompetence?)

    by all means blow your own trumpet
    but make sure you have something genuine to praise yourself for

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  • @Tom Cruise
    I'm not sure if NHSE can actually blow their own trumpets. But in any case they are world class w@nkers.

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  • Thanks Angus,I am now imagining a NHSE executive with bottle bottomed glasses,right wist hypertrophy and hairy palms coming to lay down the law on the load of w@@@ that is a network.

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  • Vinci Ho

    I do not think it is fair to say BMA/GPC had done absolutely nothing to ‘help’ . In effect , any changes brought forward at this dire stage of general practice , can be criticised as useless . I understand that some might even fancy some kind of ‘scorched earth’ politics to wipe out and withdraw from this current model of NHS general practice. Reality is somewhere in the middle between the two extremes.
    One thing for sure to me is , this 5 year ‘deal’ should be judged subjectively and objectively( hence , evidently) on survival , not ‘glory’ , of general practice. We need people to stay as well as to come in this career . If survival is victory, this is how we judge its success . If British politics is at its all time low (because of you know what ), so is our profession. Perhaps , live or let die , BMA/GPC knows very well , deep down , that this is the ‘last chance’.......

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  • National Hopeless Service

    A very long tunnel with a small candle at the end about to go out.

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  • Are the BMA and LMCs kind of merging to try and stop their own demise -which is inevitable as no 'powers that be' take any notice of what they say??

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  • Vinci Ho

    Light down the corridor?

    There she stood in the doorway;
    I heard the mission bell
    And I was thinking to myself
    'This could be heaven or this could be Hell'
    Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way
    There were voices down the corridor,
    I thought I heard them say

    Mirrors on the ceiling,
    The pink champagne on ice
    And she said, 'we are all just prisoners here, of our own device'
    And in the master's chambers,
    They gathered for the feast
    They stab it with their steely knives,
    But they just can't kill the beast
    Last thing I remember, I was
    Running for the door
    I had to find the passage back to the place I was before
    'Relax' said the night man,
    'We are programmed to receive.
    You can check out any time you like,
    But you can never leave!'

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  • Light up, light up
    As if you have a choice
    Even if you cannot hear my voice
    I'll be right beside you dear

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  • David Banner

    No frills,
    handy for the hills,
    that’s the way you spell New Mills!
    Brooding along by the runnel,
    While she’s in Capri with her swain,
    And the light at the end of the tunnel,
    Is the light of an oncoming train.

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  • any support for a mass boycott of this new deckchair arrangement....?

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  • Light in the tunnel alright, the headlights of the Hancock EXPRESS accelerating at our ramshackle wagon.

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