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A bad case of post-erection blues

June Issue sick notes

‘As you can see, I’m certainly happy that I came to Oz’

Prime Minister David Cameron had great fun with his Cabinet reshuffle after the election last month.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt kept his post as the big cheese at Richmond House, but some of the lesser ministers got the chop.

Sick Notes’ particular favourite Dr Dan ‘what GP recruitment crisis?’ Poulter got the heave-ho along with Earl Howe, although neither is probably any great loss to the department.

Care minister Norman Lamb was not invited back, although he is going on to bigger and better things with his bid to lead the eight Lib Dems still remaining in Parliament.

The new ministerial faces at the DH include Ben Gummer, former fridge manufacturer and son of Margaret Thatcher’s agriculture minister John Gummer. It’s good to see that having a dad who force-feeds possibly BSE-infected burgers to his children is no impediment to high office.

The new care minister is Alistair Burt, an ex-solicitor who was minister for disabled people between 1995 and 1997 and has a political history so dull it is not even worth repeating here.

Anyway, Sick Notes is pleased to see that the NHS is being put into the hands of a ministerial team that has such a detailed knowledge of the UK health system.

We are in safe hands.


The dumbing down of our once world-renowned television programming continues, with even Countdown relying on minor celebrities and smut to hang onto ratings.

Thank goodness that GP Dr Phil Hammond was on hand in a recent episode to inject a dose of sobriety when two contestants chose the eight-letter word ‘erection’ as their solution to the day’s conundrum, according to the Metro.

‘Any more erections, Phil?’ giggled Countdown host Nick Hewer, former star of the Apprentice.

‘No, two erections is quite enough thank you,’ replied Dr Hammond, and said the word he had was ‘recondite’, adding: ‘I’ve trumped your erections and slipped in a nine.’

Dignity restored – sort of.


Speaking of erections, they appear to be more achievable for UK GPs if they move abroad, according to the PulseToday comments section.

Responding to an article on how the Government is pushing ahead with seven-day opening, one GP commented that since moving from the UK to practise in Australia he had recovered his morning glory.

‘Your wife is lucky your morning erections are back. I’m still working on mine,’ replied one unfortunate UK GP to the lucky expat.

‘I hope he keeps us updated as to how he is progressing,’ said another.

But the best comment was from a female GP who replied: ‘Ever so pleased to hear about your morning erections. My husband is pleased I am not a GP partner any more too [smiley face].’


The RCGP presidential campaign was more interactive than ever before. Sick Notes has been impressed by the candidates, who have taken to Twitter and engaged with GPs.

Former RCGP chair and contender for the higher crown Professor Mayur Lakhani has particularly made a mark, illustrating his messages of hope with flowers from his garden. ‘Let us mount a renewal based on values’ (wisteria). ‘We must tackle GP burnout’ (rhododendron). ‘We must persuade graduates to choose general practice’ (poison ivy). Only one of those is made up.


NHS England’s architect Tim Kelsey has been setting Tesco ‘alight’ in a series of meetings with the supermarket, Private Eye revealed recently.  Emails seen by the magazine reveal that Mr Kelsey was ‘working in partnership to develop new models of care, and self-care, to improve health outcomes’ with the retailer last year. Quite what this means is unclear, as NHS England refused to release this information because of the ‘commercial detriment that would be suffered by both NHS England and Tesco’. Hmm.


Local news is not what it once was. The Gloucester Citizen recently reported that GPs could start to charge ‘for routine opera’, which puzzled Puccini fans until they realised it was a typo and should have read ‘operations’.


PR fail of the month. The agency that wants to turn everyone’s lunch hour into a ‘power hour’ with a run around the block and some vitamin pills. What’s wrong with a mountain of cake and a sly game of online bingo at your desk?