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I’d rather place my baubles in the toaster



I’m about to lay myself bare here. I could be exposed as moronic, out of touch, or both. On the other hand, if what I say resonates, then I’m just like you, and you’re just like me, and thank God for that.

 I’d probably sign up to anything now just to make it all go away

It’s all about this story regarding a new contract. Yes, another one. I quote: ‘A GP practice can sign up in a variety of ways, including a GP-owned company, federation or as a joint venture between practice and a trust. GPs can also individually join an MCP as employees, with existing bodies, like foundation trusts, holding the contract.’

Feeling OK? I’m not. I’m starting to well up. There’s more. ‘Community interest companies and NHS foundation trusts are also able to deliver an MCP.’ Yeah? But, ‘Every provider that submits a contract will have to prove that they can, “manage reasonable downside risks”’. Oh, and the draft states that the contract works to a, ‘Whole population budget and with a gain/risk share for acute activity’.

How are you doing? Here. Have some of my Kleenex. One of the reasons this type of thing makes me weep is that it provokes a really uncomfortable feeling somewhere between immense weariness and utter confusion. I’m not denigrating the reporting, it’s just that I encounter this stuff all the time and it means absolutely nothing to me. Maybe I’m detached, off-message, or just plain fatigued. But there’s always this sense of important stuff going on just above my head while I’m preoccupied with a packed waiting room and simply trying to survive the day-to-day.

It’s partly my fault. Someone sent me the proposed MCP contract the other day with the message, ‘This is important – read’. But I haven’t, because, frankly, I’d rather put my testicles in the toaster. Look guys, I just want to get on with my job, is that too much to ask? I don’t have the time or the will for this other stuff. And I think – I hope – that’s how the average GP feels.

And maybe that’s the idea. To grind us into submission and then impose whatever they like having gone through a pretence of involvement or consultation. I’d probably sign up to anything now just to make it all go away. Selling my soul? That was crushed ages ago. Abandon hope all who enter here. Nothing is permanent but woe.

Oh, and Merry Christmas.

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