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An ode to St Matt and his ’appy new year

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’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the practice,

Not a creature was stirring, the result was pure bliss,

The GP was calm, he had no need to fear,

In hopes that St Matthew soon would be here;

The patients were nestled all snug in their beds,

There should be no call-outs for emergency meds,

And whilst the ill lay slumbered alone in their nap,

The GP relaxed into his first nightcap,

When out in the car park there arose such a clatter,

GP sprang from his chair to see what was the matter,

He flew to the window, squinting through iron bars,

But all he could see were the headlights of cars,

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

So, all of a sudden, what should appear?

But a miniature sleigh led by a huge reindeer,

With a youthful driver, wearing a flash hat,

GP knew in an instant, it must be St Matt,

More rapid than eagles his reindeer it came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called him by name;

‘Come, come Parsa! Come along boy,

And do not forget your sack full of toys,

To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!

Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!’

Faster than a hurricane, the pair they flew,

For what they had was all shiny and new,

With a steady course, they were on a mission,

To illuminate the world with their brand-new vision,

And then, in a twinkling, they were heard on the roof,

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof,

GP turned towards the sound of the bump,

And down the chimney came St Matt with a thump,

He was dressed all in apps, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes they were tarnished from ashes and soot,

A bundle of phones he had flung on his back,

Looking just like a burglar with a bag of swag,

His eyes – how they twinkled! His fingers how nimble!

His heart still thumping to the beat of a cymbal,

Delighted to be the bearer of good news,

Whilst GP remained still, and very confused,

The flash of a smart watch poked out from his wrist,

Which promised the end of boring patient lists,

Assuming a smile which went ear to ear,

He knew he had something GP wanted to hear,

Parsa came forward with due diligence,

Demand could be managed. Artificial intelligence!

St Matt was excited by what he had found,

Because he needn’t spend any more NHS pounds,

Prevention, social prescribing and AI were the game,

With these St Matt was hoping for fame,

And GPs were demanding and so overpaid,

His hope was into the distance they would fade,

He sprang to his sleigh and gave Parsa a shout,

He had controlled expenses, there could be no doubt,

GP heard them exclaim, as they drove out of sight,



Dr Shaba Nabi is a GP trainer in Bristol