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Have politicians and journalists have finally noticed how stressed GPs are?



So here I am at Pulse Live 2015. And on a scale of one to moist-with-excitement, I’m somewhere around throbbing.

Previous years have been excellent, but this one promises to be an absolute cracker. Not only because of content covering everything from the major issues (‘Addressing the challenges to general practice’) to the more piddly ones (‘Managing overactive bladder’) and a stellar cast including the one and only Jeremy Hunt (assuming he doesn’t do a Steve Field-style runner), but also because of a faint glow of positivity on planet GP.

The politicians and even the media – with some notable and obvious exceptions – have picked up on the fact that we are super-saturated with work. And accepting that ‘lazy and overpaid’ should read ‘exploited, knackered and struggling to survive’ is the first step in making us a shiny, happy profession again.

All of which begs the question, will the tea-break biscuits be as good as last year? Or rather, has general practice turned the corner? Or is it just cautiously approaching a T-junction? Or is it still on a straight road to nowhere? And if we are turning a corner, are we ploughing straight into an ongoing articulated lorry? I’ll be posing these, and other tortured metaphors, to random, startled delegates. And you’ll be the first to hear what they have to say. Hope you’re throbbing, too. 

Dr Tony Copperfield is a GP in Essex. You can follow him on Twitter @DocCopperfield.