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Pedal to the metal, all the way

This weekend was a good one.

The fact that it’s the start of spring and the sky was blue wasn’t the reason, though these factors certainly helped.  No, I’ve just had the best track day, ever.

If you’ve read some of my previous blogs you’ll know I’m a petrol head and I’ve got a pure bred track car.  I share the driving with my two sons who’ve both inherited the same love of cars, engines and the smell of gasoline.

By a pure stroke of luck I also managed to book two track days on consecutive weekends which is something that has never been allowed to happen before in the Moss household and what made this weekend so good was that it was better than the previous one.

Now you’d think they would be the same.  Two amazing opportunities to drive world famous racing circuits in the dry with the sun shining.  The first was Silverstone’s 3.6 mile Grand Prix Circuit and the second was Rockingham’s 1.9 mile International Supersportscar Circuit.  On both track days the car and drivers were the same.  The circuits were of different lengths I’ll grant you but the goal of driving around as fast as you could, staying on the tarmac and keeping the car shiny side up was the same.  What was different was driver confidence.

We had never driven at Silverstone before and the very thought was daunting to say the least.  We would be driving THE Grand Prix Circuit.  Not only that, some of the other cars were mega expensive super cars – a McLaren P1 and a racing Porsche with a rumoured 900bhp and driven by an ex Formula 1 driver to mention just two.  We spent as much time looking in the rear view mirrors (so we could get out of the way) as we did looking forwards.

Rockingham was entirely different.  We know this circuit well and though the calibre of some of the other cars wasn’t the same as at Silverstoneit was those drivers who had to use their mirrors to get out of our way this time.  Having the confidence to do the job in hand well despite being somewhat under resourced can improve your performance significantly.  Anticipate, analyse and react are the primary requirements of a circuit driver.  Do these well and you could well perform better than someone with more expensive equipment.

Which brings me onto general practice which needs to do the same: anticipate, analyse and react.

The medical news is full of stories about how income streams are being reduced dramatically or even stopped altogether.  There are pressures to confederate in order to survive, reduce income in order to remain viable and to prepare for direct competition for the services we provide.  These are real threats and they knock your confidence.

In my practice we made the decision to write to all our staff in the form of a newsletter explaining the pressures we were under, how we must cooperate with other practices and that with confidence in ourselves we might get through this year in one piece.  The newsletter was appreciated and went down well.

So general practice needs to Anticipate, Analyse and React. Now, GPAAR is an anagram of APGAR so hopefully the new born general practice that is emerging will have a high score and remain shiny side up.