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What makes a good patient?

It is fairly easy to find out what makes a good GP – for example the GMC has some good information on it, as does the RCGP. But what about patients? What makes a good, or even a perfect patient?

It is fairly easy to find out what makes a good GP – for example the GMC has some good information on it, as does the RCGP. But what about patients? What makes a good, or even a perfect patient?

I guess it depends on you want out of them. At its most basic, could the perfect patient be the one who is registered but never turns up and lives a happy healthy lifestyle with no need for a GPs input? Perhaps, but with my QOF chasing hat on you can't score that many points from them. Maybe a few points as they are a non-smoker, non-drinker and normotensive. But not many.

Perhaps if they had a few chronic diseases that would be better, could get a few more points out of them. What about if they are a depressed obese asthmatic with epilepsy, diabetes and heart disease? Could score a lot of points there!

But to be a good patient they would, of course, have to turn up for regular review and take all the medication you throw at them. Ideally, you want to be able to score as many points for as little work as possible I suppose.

Maybe patients could be trained to chase their own QOF points? What if a cohort of diabetic patients touted their QOF point potential to low-scoring practices? Could they hire themselves out by registering with a different practice each year?

You could have some sort of QOF über-patient, but it's just a tad dehumanising to only view them for their QOF scoring potential.

For me personally I like patients who turn up on time, don't stink of fags, booze or sweat, don't have a vast list for me to try and sort out in 10 minutes, do what they are told. And, most importantly, send me cards saying thank you so I can put them in my appraisal portfolio to show what a wonderful doctor I am as it seems nowadays if it's not written down it doesn't count.

GP For Hire

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