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Simon Stevens’ report card: B for effort, D- for execution

Dear Mrs Stevens,

I am so sorry to have to write to you about Simon’s work so soon after our chat at parents evening. As you know, at that time I was rather disappointed that his homework ‘Five Year Forward View’ was fictional and a bit odd, rather than the factual task that was set.

Simon is clearly a really bright boy. It confuses me why he continually fails to grasp the project.

Well, he’s done it again. He was set the task of coming up with a ‘rescue package’ for GPs. 

I’ll start with the positives:

– He presented it really well (it was lovely and shiny with some very politically correct pictures)

– It was nice he acknowledged how important GPs are, and how well they are regarded by their patients.

– He had some good ideas such as GP returners programme and getting pharmacist support.

 But Mrs Stevens, yet again there is no substance to his work.  He has pulled figures out of the air and made them so confusing it took me hours to try and analyse them, and frankly I am still not sure I get it.

He also keeps to this fantasy about being able to create 5,000 GPs in five years and going on and on about physicians associates. Although the latter might be good, moving from the current 35 practicing PAs to 1,000 with little clear structure or regulation is lunacy. His obsession with unproven ‘vanguards’ and ‘MCPs’ is puzzling to many of the staff here.

Mrs Stevens, Simon is clearly a really bright boy. It confuses me why he continually fails to grasp the project.

As I mentioned at parents’ evening, I’m a little concerned with some of the other boys he is hanging around with. I certainly think I can see Jeremy and David’s influence on this project. I suspect some copying has gone on. We know they are being mean to the junior pupils here currently, so I would suggest he steers clear.

Please don’t take this entirely as a criticism. But I hope there are some pointers here, and perhaps if I give Simon an extension, he could thrash out some of the vaguer points and really double-check his sums. After all he desperately needs to get this one right.

So far: B for effort, D- for execution.

Dr Susie Bayley is a GP in Derby and chair of GP Survival