Jeremy Hunt’s plan – at least according to the DH twitter feed – to release GP time to support urgent care services by extending the QOF reporting period until April makes perfect sense. At least, it does for the nanosecond it takes your neurotransmitters to process the idea. At which point you think, hang on, the QOF deadline already is April, and this will just stack up QOF work down the line, it will delay QOF payment and disrupt cashflow, GPs aren’t the default cavalry whose core work is so disposable that we can prop up an ailing NHS according to political whim, and how exactly will extending a QOF deadline actually enable me to ‘support urgent care services’ anyway, and hang on again, I support urgent care services already, don’t I, and so on, until you realise you’re frothing at the mouth and looking a bit mental.
So, in fact, it makes no sense at all. And if, in fact, he meant to say something that, somehow, did make slightly more sense, you can bet that whatever level of sense it conveyed would never, ever attain the status of ‘sensible’.
Unlike, I have to say, our college chair. It’s not often that I doff my cap to the RCGP, but if I had one, that’s what I’d be doing. Because Dr Stokes-Lampard’s response to the latest NHS furore is to propose a temporary suspension of GP appraisal and CQC inspections. Spot on. Except you could replace the words ‘temporary’ and ‘suspension’ with ‘permanent’ and ‘ditching’ and, actually, I’d like the resulting space and time to help me cope with the absurd pressures of my existing job rather than another one involving putting sticking plasters on a haemorrhaging NHS. Besides, isn’t that what the Red Cross is for?
Dr Tony Copperfield is a GP in Essex. You can follow him on Twitter @DocCopperfield