I have just been informed that my position as a PCT full-time, permanent salaried GP will soon come to an end after almost nine years of employment.
I knew PCTs were dissolving and that sooner or later I was going to be told I had to go. But being made redundant is not nice. I hope I may remain one of the very few GPs to have to experience the feeling.
I never thought this was a possibility when I took the job back in 2002, and as an MD with top academic marks, eight years of GP experience and specialist training in ENT,
I was not short of choices. But here we are, and now I find myself reflecting on what is happening to the NHS. Its dismantling is well underway.
My ideal of a public service is that it should have a service ethic, with staff who are not in it for the money, and management who are not in it for the shareholders, or forced to compete with companies that are run for shareholders.
Instead, by 2014 all NHS hospitals will be businesses, competing with private institutions for patient income. To remain profitable, NHS hospitals will be forced to cut costs – working their human resources harder, focusing on profitable treatments and cutting high-cost ones. GP consortia will run the service. But I wonder how a GP dedicated to clinical care will find the time, or refine the skills, to do the administration required. You can already see there are contracts the private health companies are after. Consortia, meanwhile, will try to save money by denying certain treatments, and by reducing their staff costs.
From Dr Edoardo Cervoni, Preston
Dr Edoardo Cervoni