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Pulse checker: Health secretary announces plans to take strike action

Pulse checker: Health secretary announces plans to take strike action

Pulse’s not-entirely-serious take on the month’s events

Steve Barclay has declared his intention to go on strike in protest over the Government’s own incompetence. 

The health secretary has been in constant dispute with the medical profession since entering office, with junior doctors, nurses, paramedics and consultants all taking some form of action.

Now, Mr Barclay has revealed he has held a ballot with himself, and he voted unanimously in favour of striking. In a statement, he said: ‘My working conditions are intolerable. I have to work with liars, idiots, backstabbers and my job security is non existent. 

‘My whole job is just telling the media that hardworking health professionals should live in squalor. No one should have to put up with that kind of work.’

The health secretary announced he would be taking strike action across the whole of the summer holiday period, which MPs get off anyway. 

However, it was later revealed that Mr Barclay was considering legal action to prevent himself going on strike.

GMC: ‘We are sorry for apologising so much’

The GMC has issued a statement apologising for the sheer number of times it has said sorry over the past few years. 

It June, it issued an apology after its counsel claimed a doctor’s apology to a patient amounted to ‘an admission of guilt’ – which is contrary to the GMC’s own guidelines. Previously, it has apologised to a GP who was suspended for saying she had been promised a laptop, and to the whole medical profession after the case of Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba.

In a statement, the GMC said: ‘We know people are sick of us issuing apologies, and to that we can only say sorry. We understand the stress involved in hearing us atone for our sins.’

When it was suggested the regulator stop taking problematic actions that require apologies, the spokesman added: ‘I’m sorry, but we won’t be doing that.’

Lord Darzi: The NHS will only improve once GPs sort themselves out

Writing for Pulse Checker, the former health minister responsible for ‘polyclinics’ discusses turmoil in the NHS, and why it’s all GPs’ fault.

There is one place to put the blame for the mess the NHS is in – on  GPs. 

GPs remain separate from and out of touch with the wider NHS. Their only knowledge of the rest of the health services comes through referrals, contacts with patients, daily dealings with secondary care, advocacy for their patients and the 90% of NHS activity they carry out. 

So they don’t understand that people with long-term conditions demand community-based ‘hub‘ facilities, similar to the ones I rolled out in the 2000s, which were a roaring success. Small GP practices are unable to meet patient needs, whether it’s the best digital technology, diagnostics, extended hours, quick appointments, hot tubs, saunas, fine wine or dining. 

But GPs recoil from such visionary ideas. GPs were the reason polyclinics were closed, and their opposition stemmed from greed, laziness and the fact that patients didn’t like or use the centres. 

In a way, I blame myself. I was unable to convince greedy, money-grubbing GPs to put the public first. 

What GPs are being blamed for this month

Warning patients about the heat
‘Nannying GP surgeries text patients urging them to take care in the heat: Alerts inform public “it’s hot” and that they should “drink plenty of water” and “stay out of the sun”’. 
Daily Mail, 16 June.

Changing babies’ genders 
‘GP surgery asks parents if their BABY is trans: Outrage over “insane” gender options on patient registration form’. 
Daily Mail, 31 May. (Note: This was a template form given to all patients.)

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