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This pay ‘rise’ might just push me beyond boiling point



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Sorry to state the bleedin’ obvious, but Jeez it’s hot. I am sitting in my consulting room – a room, I’d add, with no air con and with windows I can’t open on account of the pneumatic drilling going on right outside – and the temperature of 29.5 deg C has melted me into a puddle of sweat beneath my chair.

It’s certainly frying my brain, and it appears to be frying the brains of others, too. The mother of a baby I saw in emergency surgery this morning was concerned that he has been suffering from a low temperature and that the Calpol she’d been administering hadn’t raised it to normal levels.

The nurses and I spent lunchtime fanning ourselves and sipping iced water while planning, with manifest incredulity, the forthcoming flu vaccination campaign.

And I received a letter from the mental health team this afternoon telling me that the thought processes of a psychotic patient I’d referred urgently yesterday, who was so paranoid that he’d boarded up his windows and checked my desk for bugging devices, were ‘within normal limits’ (then again, this is Essex, so maybe that’s right).

The world has been turned upside down, in terms of both temperature and logic

In short, the world has been turned upside down, in terms of both temperature and logic. And that, presumably, must be the explanation for the recent statement made by the new health secretary Matt Hancock, or Matt Hancock the app (I haven’t worked out which is which yet).

He/it said, regarding our latest sub-inflation, sub-DDRB recommendation pay ‘rise’ that, ‘GPs face a significant challenge in numbers and we need to recruit large numbers over a short period, meaning any pay rise needs to be balanced against our aim for a growing number of practitioners’.

I won’t patronise you by offering an alternative economics/workforce argument which reaches the polar opposite conclusion, but I do feel a tad patronised by Matt Hancock, or Matt Hancock the app.

In fact, I can feel my temperature rising. And given I’m already at boiling point, that’s quite something.

Dr Tony Copperfield is a jobbing GP in Essex