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We're paying for punters to slate our practices?

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Four pence. That’s nothing to get het up about, is it? True, look after the pennies and all that. Nonetheless. Surely 4p can’t hurt anyone too much?

Until, that is, you realise what this particular four pence refers to: it’s the cost of each individual Friends and Family Test Feedback (FFT) form. I discovered this during a recent practice meeting when, to avoid the contractual rap on the knuckles currently being suffered by some practices for scoring ‘Nul points’ on FFT returns, we decided we needed to order more forms.

‘You realise they cost us four pence each?’ pointed out my practice manager. And that was when all hell broke loose. We were aghast, dismayed, incredulous and outraged. ‘What?’ we cried, in unison, in a tone mixing dismay, incredulity, outrage and, er, aghastness. ‘We’re supposed to fund this nonsense ourselves?’

Apparently so. In the same way that we have to pay for the pleasure of having the CQC pee on our parade, we’re expected to stump up the cash to offer aggrieved punters an open invitation to state that we are ‘The worst practice in the UK’, as if NHS Choices doesn’t already give them adequate opportunity to hurl abuse us at us.

A shouty debate followed, culminating in a decision to take Direct Action. No way are we coughing up any 4ps. So, the plan is too loot other local practices of their waiting room FFT supply, except for one form, on which we’ll write, under ‘any other comments’, ‘Why does this practice never have enough Friends and Family Test forms?’

This savagery is what the Government has reduced us to. Each form may only cost us four pence. But it has cost the profession much, much more.

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

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Readers' comments (6)

  • oh legendary!

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  • It's quite simple NHS England. I made a decision never to work as a GP in English NhS Geneera, Pracfice while such rubbish as FFT and CQC continues. I can happily fill my boots with work elsewhere. You, yes YOU are responsible for the workforce crisis.

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  • Don't worry. You are forced to pay a lot more (£420 a year) for much worse abuse. Perhaps a threat to your life.
    the GMC
    Milking doctors, free to patients.

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  • The driest exercise I know. Questionable likely fake data nationwide, carry on and feed the data junkies.

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  • Glad I'm semi retired ...early and can pop in and do one day a week ... more than enough in the NHS.
    Started in practice 30 years ago, retired as senior partner two years ago. Loved the first 10-15 years including on call, running a 24 hour minor casualty, doing our own deliveries ( for I think £9.00!). Found the last 8 years boring and tiresome. Cannot understand why anyone on earth would be a Full Partner now....Actually If I was qualifying now I would on the first plane out!

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  • So just who do you think should pay for these forms? NHS England - i.e. the taxpayer? And which particular taxpayer do you have in mind who would pay to give you feedback? You need to get yourself into the real world.

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From: Copperfield

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