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GP who shall not be named



I just don’t get this ‘named clinician’ business. My default position is to be completely and utterly against it, of course. But I haven’t a clue what it’s about. And I’m not convinced anyone else has, either.

The idea seems to be that there should be an ‘identifiable’ clinician – aka us – with 24/7 responsibility for vulnerable patients. In which case, there are only three possible interpretations.

1 We are responsible for the frail and elderly at all times, literally, and therefore could conceivably be called at 11pm on a Saturday night, say, at which time I’m normally scheduled to be in a Sauvignon-induced stupor. But even the most paranoid reactionary among us/psychotically GP-loathing among the Government knows this simply isn’t going to happen.

2 Each vulnerable patient requires a specific doctor who organises and co-ordinates, though doesn’t actually deliver, their care, and is the final common pathway through whom all actions and decisions pass. That care, obviously, occurs 24/7, but does not actively involve us for all those hours, equally obviously. Which is just a tweak from what happens already. It’s what we do, though there’s no reason why Jeremy Hunt should realise that, he’s only the Health Secretary.

3 GPs are, like Voldemort, he or she who shall not be named, but shall be as of now. Which is news to me. But for those labouring under this delusion, there’s a helpful clue on the consulting room door, right after the abbreviation ‘Dr’, assuming your surname’s not ‘anonymous’.

I reckon option two’s the likeliest. And that’s fine. We’re used to working harder to maintain income. If we lose some QOF nonsense to be named physicians/do what we do already, then we’re working the same to earn the same. And, these days, that counts as a victory.