Speaking about the new contract at the annual LMC conference in Belfast yesterday, BMA GP committee chair said, ‘There is a light ahead of us’.
But what is this light, Richard? What is it?
Is it the beacon light of a brave new future, one full of sweetness as well as lux?
Is it the flash of a light sabre wielded against the evil imperial forces that would control us?
Is it the green light for our contract?
Is it the brake light of a car of retiring GPs which was heading for the hills, and then is it the reverse light as they decide not to leave after all?
Is it a massive lightbox sent to cure our perennial affective disorder?
Is it an amber light urging us to pause and think?
Is it the bedside lamp of GPs poring, late at night, over contractual detail?
Is it the yellow glow of flames as our sense of vocation burns?
Is it the headlights of a runaway contractual train racing to meet an impossible deadline?
Is it the torchlight flash of a lost care navigator looking for a job?
Is it a searchlight trying to pick out 5,000 GPs?
Is it a candle lit for the lost soul of general practice?
Is it the rapid blink of a lighthouse warning us of rocky network service requirements ahead?
Is it a red ‘stop’ light?
Is it a visual aura warning us of a gigantic migraine?
Is it a flashing blue light come, too late, to resuscitate general practice?
In fact, Richard, is there really any light at all? I see the tunnel, but I don’t see the light. I don’t know what the aim of this contract really is, nor who is really driving it. It’s a matter of faith. And I don’t see the light. Maybe I’m blind. Maybe you’re deluded. So where is it? Where is the light?
Dr Tony Copperfield is a GP in Essex