What’s that, Jeremy? A new ‘package’ for GPs? How lovely! Whatever could it be? A big pack of Hobnobs? A box full of Labrador puppies? A suitcase stuffed with used fivers?
No, wait. It’s a package of ‘measures’. What, rulers, calipers and a set of scales? No. ‘Measures to address growing pressure on GPs.’ How absolutely marvellous! Why, we haven’t had a package of measures to address growing pressures on GPs promised for, hmmm, let me think now, at least a week.
He’ll appear to pull GPs out of a hat, even though they went in as pharmacists, paramedics and physician assistants
The fact is, we’ve been told for a very long time, and with monotonous regularity, that the asphyxiating atmosphere on Planet Primary Care is about to get a blast of resuscitating oxygen. Our reaction to each portentous pronouncement has gone from genuine anticipation, through perplexed bemusement to, finally, utter despair. Because, with each promise of help and hope, Jeremy Hunt is increasingly looking like a clapped-out magician with a transparent, predictable and frankly irritating stage act.
So doubtless, once again, he’ll bamboozle us by recycling old money and stale promises into something he’ll pretend is shiny and new. He’ll mesmerise us with the old three-card trick of shifting existing DES and QOF funding into 7/7, 8 to 8 working. And he’ll appear to pull GPs out of a hat, even though they went in as pharmacists, paramedics and physician assistants.
The Amazing Jezza may be able to use his smoke and mirrors to misdirect the public. But it no longer works on us: we simply don’t believe in magic any more.
So, Jeremy, we’d be awfully grateful if, for an encore, you could make yourself disappear. Or is that the trick you have in store for us?
Dr Tony Copperfield is a GP in Essex. You can follow him on Twitter @DocCopperfield