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Wanted: odd job man and practice manager

Dinah is beset by employment woes

Dinah is beset by employment woes

Monday

Panic. New practice manager interviews this week. What if no-one turns up? What questions should I ask? What if they ask me difficult questions? Spend morning agonising about in-tray exercise and how to evaluate presentation skills.

Obviously must ask about Corporate Manslaughter Act, how will they make sure we stay out of trouble and keep patients happy? And when I am broke because of all the risk assessment and quality assurance we have to fund, how will they get the cash in?

Surgery intervenes – gratefully welcome distraction of first patient, depressed ex-convict Mr G who asks about the job he's heard is going. Have I seen his application? He's young, fit and once won a weight-lifting contest, shows me his hairy pecs to prove it (oh dear, complete with medallion). Strange – don't remember seeing his CV and seems unlikely to know much about PMS contracts.

Mystery solved after a few minutes of rather confused discussion – seems we have also advertised for an odd-job person recently. Suggest he comes back when new PM is appointed, but feel sorry for him – CRB check is just his first problem.

Wish I could help, but that chest mowing the lawn in front of staff every week would cause a riot. Settle for antidepressants instead (Note: PM interview question – staff employment protocols).

Wednesday

PBC group. Commissioning intentions finalised, still work to do on practice health improvement plans. We have good Public Health input but there's danger of being scuppered by inequalities agenda. With a 10-year difference in life expectancy (74-84 years) for women in our population, we're under scrutiny to close the gap.

Perversely anything that improves health, be it the latest PBC innovation or moving forward faster than next-door's PBC group, could increase the gap either within our locality or across the PCT as a whole. Frustrated. What's the point of local commissioning if we wait to move forward together?

And what happened to the concept of finding the people out there at greatest need and targeting all our health improvement on them? Out of work, depressed, male… Find myself thinking of Mr G. Should we form a social enterprise and employ all the patients?

Friday

The day dawns. Couldn't sleep last night. Kids fed up with me pacing around reading CVs and carrying out mock interviews (14 year old very impressive on power-point presentation but 11 year old pips him on IT security).

Surgery first, including ex-policeman trying to win a constructive dismissal case, unemployed woman who has been to eight unsuccessful interviews so far (note: is there mileage in kids setting up training course?), and a chronic alcoholic who just keeps getting job after job running pubs and relapsing. How does he do it? Suggest mowing lawns as less risky and stop for tea.

Secretary helpfully provides schedule of interviewees and score-board for skills, knowledge and competencies, plus a large coffee. G&T might be more useful but no time to argue, first one is waiting… Gulp. Ok, let's do it.

Dinah

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