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My 2017 prediction: Practices will start offering kitty the snip



In line with the Government’s mantra that ‘GPs are ideally placed to provide (insert: anything you like)’ the new year will see the launch of the first ‘one stop’ surgeries.

Self check-out tills will be installed next to self check-in screens

From 2017 GPs will not only be expected to provide all health care previously undertaken in now defunct community clinics, from nail cutting to dental extractions, but as we are trained in the ‘holistic model’ of care it is only seen as natural we should cater for all of our patients’ needs.

In the spirit of ‘working smarter’ patients requiring both chiropody and dental treatment will be signposted to  new windowless side booths off the main waiting area, where molar drilling technicians will attend to their tooth decay, while simultaneously, foot care assistants will deal with their corns and callosities. All such support staff will have been fully trained with the minimum of a six week on-line learning module from the University of Western Samoa and will be closely supervised by fully qualified dentists and podiatrists only a phone call away in Bangalore.

Waiting room seating will be removed to make way for shelving which will be stocked with a wide variety of groceries and self check-out tills will be installed next to self check-in screens. Receptionists will of course be on hand to deal with any ‘unexpected items in bagging area’ when they are not answering the phones and registering new patients.

Practices will be expected to clearly display their complaints policy regarding any mislabelled 2 for 1 offers and mandatory training in retail management will be provided to practice managers to ensure they have the appropriate skill set to deal with ordering, returns and stock rotation.

Pet ownership has been proven to have positive health benefits and indeed many patients treat their dogs as an equal member of their family. To this end, NHS England will be taking the bold step of modifying the GP appraisal process to allow family doctors to undertake online learning modules from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Naturally GPs will only be expected to undertake veterinary medical procedures they are competent to perform, but as a spokesman for NHS England will be heard to commment: ‘If they are gloved up anyway, expressing a dog’s anal glands is no more difficult than doing a prostate check.’

Dr David Turner is a GP in west London

Read more of Pulse bloggers’ light-hearted looks ahead to 2017 all week