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Time for reflection

Time for reflection

I have a bit of sympathy for health authorities over the impromptu bank holiday. They were damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Compel practices to close on the bank holiday and a number of GPs would have been fearing the workload it would put off; compel them to stay open and it would have been a case of treating GPs and their teams different to everyone else and preventing those who wanted to mourn from doing so.

In the end, they chose the only route available to them – giving GP practices the choice. Of course, we all would have liked them to offer funding for practices who wanted to stay open to pay for staff that day, but in the current climate, that would have been wishful thinking (the Treasury needs that money for a state funeral, after all).

The idea that this is a time to reflect has been invoked a number of times in the past week. But I really hope that health managers and ministers can reflect on GPs’ reaction at the announcement of the bank holiday. 

As we reported, many GPs were horrified at the prospect of shutting and what it would do for their patients and their workload. Staying open wasn’t an obvious solution; I hadn’t seen a GP who was insisting they must have their bank holiday honoured (though they are well within their rights). No, they were all worried about preventing their staff from having the day off – some would want to mourn, but with the schools shut, there were childcare issues, too.

And on top of all this, the framing from parts of the media has made it look as though GPs were begging to have the bank holiday off.

In reality, a functioning health service should be able to absorb a single day off. But this is not a functioning health system. This is one that has already collapsed. Let’s hope the coronation bank holiday can wait for the spring. I’d imagine so, he’s waited years, another few months won’t make a difference.



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

Patrufini Duffy 14 September, 2022 8:22 pm

The addiction to General Practice is a self-made and orchestrated plan, the sponge of the high street gutter. Wait for winter access. Still can’t see a dentist and the Consultant is four months away. Free high street social workers and nanny’s, surrogate parents for some, who have a side job as a doctor and nurse when necessary, not often. They panic like the panic attacks caused by sertraline and norethisterone stocks running low, and an inability to source ones weekend cocaine and prosecco. World catastrophe. On demand medicine. Who to turn to? The spiritual building is closed and the supermarket, even the gym. The bankers and accountants couldn’t care less and the politicians are on vacation. Your friends aren’t even your friends and your parents are on holiday in Malaga. The master plan of spreading you thin, the be it all. One would think this is one of the sickest countries in the world with it’s unbelievable need and demand and leech like behaviour. Exponential neediness. Exponential anxiety and hopelessness accompanied by incremental arguement and ego. It is difficult to separate the public from a patient now, it’s all blended into one massive free for all jelly bean. 80 million people. 1 million consultations a day. Time to detach. Permanently. Privilege and addiction are going to be hard cookies to crumble.