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GPs need to pull a rabbit out of the hat

It has been fascinating reading your letters pages, and I have noticed a few key themes from GP grassroots. Those interested in training have voiced their opinion on longer training periods and longer consultation times. I do believe these are a nice idea but are they evidence based? What is the driver for change?

How should we deal with an ever-increasing demand for consultations? Can we provide longer consultations to our patients, and who will be the lucky few to get them? Will it be fair? Will we see a year-on-year increase in complaints at the GMC?

Sure, our patients are expecting more from us as hospitals shift more work into primary care and our helpful Government wants GPs to manage the NHS.

Does our workload ease elsewhere to allow for this? No, we are now told that appraisal isn’t enough, that, as Dr David Church tells us, we shouldn’t ‘run away from revalidation’.

Is there some hope on the horizon of more GPs entering the system?

Unfortunately not. Only another looming shortage of GPs because our training needs are outweighed by the predicted loss through retirement.

If ever there was a time to pull the rabbit out of the hat, it would be now.

From Dr Jan Yazici, Stockport, Greater Manchester