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The workforce and wellbeing QI makes me want to go off sick

The workforce and wellbeing QI makes me want to go off sick

Dr Copperfield on NHS England’s new wellbeing QOF indicator, which aims to reduce GP burnout risk

Hands up all those who have ever, that’s EVER, been asked for ‘verification’ of their QOF QI monitoring template by their commissioning body. No one, right? Because no one cares. Not us, not them. It’s just a massive, irritating QOF box to tick.

That said, this year’s offering entitled ‘Workforce and Wellbeing’ does at least does show that NHS England has a sense of humour. It’s as if someone has bullshitted a toilet-bowl of platitudes and vomited a bucket of web links, mixed the two, and offered it to us as something Michelin-starred.

Apparently, the aim is to improve wellbeing and resilience and reduce the risk of burnout for the GP workforce. The trouble is, it involves sentences such as, ‘Undertake an exercise to evaluate current workforce wellbeing factors’. Every time I read words like that, a little bit of me dies, and these days there aren’t many bits of me left.

Other highlights include the need to carry out a ‘stress risk assessment for each practice role’, ensuring access to a ‘Freedom to Speak Up Guardian’ and considering a ‘Workforce Equity Champion’. Oh, and the menopause inevitably gets a token mention. Then we have to do the usual improvement plan, implement the plan, assess the plan, meet the PCN to plan a meeting about the plans and finally plan another PC meeting to plan what to do when we realise the original plans didn’t go as planned.

There are many problems with all this, but I want to highlight two. First, being given a high workload low value task that will undermine the very thing it’s supposed to improve is like screaming, ‘Why don’t you just cheer the ‘f**k up!?’ to someone with depression. And for a profession teetering on the brink, that’s unlikely to be helpful.

And second, as for access, now with morale: the powers-that-be, by giving us projects to do and targets to hit, shift the responsibility for easing our despair over workload and conditions away from them and on to us.

The one saving grace is that they highlight ‘Practitioner Health’, the free, confidential NHS primary care mental health service. Once you’ve read ‘Workforce and Wellbeing’, you’ll need it.

Dr Copperfield is a GP in Essex. Read more of his blogs here



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

David Church 6 April, 2023 1:17 pm

They may have been just picking on us, but up to 2015, our LHB used to visit the practice every year on ‘Grey Day’ to verify, checking through our patient records, claims records, dispensary records, and records for each additional or enhanced service, such as staff qualifications, and would routinely question, or decline, at least some of the claims, such as re-classifying minor op codes!

Keith M Laycock 6 April, 2023 4:28 pm

Insanity in the midst of madness.

James Weems 9 April, 2023 5:50 pm

I have no words

Truth Finder 24 April, 2023 4:12 pm

The more managers there are, the more useless things we get. Useless for us but very useful for them in justifying these useless pretentious jobs.