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Dr Danny Chapman: If you could see what I see

Dr Danny Chapman

Dr Danny Chapman bw

I trust that this letter in full recommends,

That you notice and value the work that we do,

In spite of conditions imposed on by you.


General practice is starting to fail,

(and we’re all greedy shirkers says today’s Daily Mail).

Funding is down to an all time nadir,

And not enough doctors choose a GP career.


Patients want drugs for a self-limiting cough

Whilst I’m ticking boxes to satisfy QOF.

Insurance reports and advising on driving,

And filling in forms to allow some skydiving.


Letters and scripts and results and much more,

Await me as soon as I get through the door.

An interminable tide of administration,

I hope you can now recognise my frustration.


I chose this career for the fact that it gave,

Care for my patients from cradle to grave,

To treat them as people and not just disease,

To know one as human, not ‘diabetes’.


I treat illness and sorrow and sadness each day,

As people’s support has been taken away,

Services cut by your meddling MPs,

People have nowhere to go but GPs.


I invite you to spend just a morning with me,

Sit in my surgery and see what I see.

Don’t watch me treat rashes and headlice and eyes,

Watch as a new mother breaks down and cries,

Watch me tell someone their cancer has spread,

Watch as a boy wishes that he was dead.


Despite all the pressures that primary care faces,

You will never find anything truly replaces,

The hard work and talent and pure dedication

That GPs provide on behalf of your nation.

I hope that this letter makes you sit down and think,

Support general practice – bring it back from the brink.

Value our service and lend us your ear,

Because one day you might find we’re no longer here.


Dr Danny Chapman is a locum GP in east and south Devon