This site is intended for health professionals only

Have a (half) day off

When I was at uni, Wednesday afternoons were kept free of lectures. It was nominally for sport, but much of it was spent in the student bar or other 90s activities, like playing Super Mario Kart or buying baggy clothes.

If media reports are to believed, GPs are still afforded the same luxury – no doubt with golf being the activity of choice! The Daily Mail reported this week that 700 practices were closing for half days during the week. In response, NHS England reiterated that it would withhold funding for extended hours from those networks where practices are ‘closing’ for half days.

NHS England shouldn’t indulge the media that is promoting this

But the truth of the matter is that, unlike my university self, this isn’t a doss. Unfortunately – and partly due to NHS England – there is a lot more to GP practices than just seeing patients. There is the mounds of paperwork, CQC visits to prepare for, hoops to jump through to earn much needed funding, etc. And, most of all, training.

Some practices can manage this without closing. But, with GP recruitment in its current state, many simply don’t have the GPs to do this without having a half day off from seeing patients. And NHS England shouldn’t indulge the media that is promoting this. It’s really starting to twist my melon.

Jaimie Kaffash is editor of Pulse. Follow him on Twitter @jkaffash or email him at