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A parallel universe



WTF is going on? Have I suddenly slipped into some very unpleasant parallel universe?

First we had Jeremy Hunt blaming us for the OOH debacle, despite the fact that he’s demonstrably wrong, followed by his plans to hand OOH back to us, or rather, give us the responsibility in some sort of ‘sign-off’ way instead, despite the fact it’s the responsibility of CCGs anyway, which we’re already signed up to, so that’s all clear.

Then we had the announcement of a new inspector of primary care which presumably means the CQC was all a very bad and time-consuming dream – and this somehow merged with Mr Hunt bemoaning the fact that GPs are too busy ticking boxes to really know their patients. Tick this box   if you can spot any irony there.

Next there was the news that half of all medical students are to become GPs by 2015, which is absolutely, definitely, certainly going to happen, given how attractive the Conservatives are currently making general practice.

And now I learn that the Tories are seriously considering an annual limit on GP appointments per patients which even I, who once patented a special surgery electric chair designed to give heartsinks enough volts to discourage prolonged consultations but not so many to kill them, though retaining the latter option, reckon is a bit draconian. Oh, and by the way – would anyone like to speculate on what effect limiting GP appointments per patient might have on A&E attendance?

The thing is, though, this isn’t a parallel universe, it’s just a week in news. There is only one rational conclusion to be drawn from this torrent of disordered, contradictory nonsense. Specifically, that the Conservative Party in general and Jeremy Hunt in particular has gone a bit mental.

I feel it’s my duty to point this out. And also to mention that, when in full flow over patients needing named GPs they can turn to, the health secretary stated: ‘As a member of the public, I want to know my GP’. Well, Mr Hunt, how do you do, my name is Dr Copperfield and I’m here for you, now, in my consulting room. Just me and this big syringe full of haloperidol.