I get the feeling that this blog is futile. As I write, on Sunday evening, I have no inkling of the Brave New World that awaits us all at work tomorrow morning. Will the NHS have survived the great cyberattack? Will all our computers have been wiped out? Even the simple act of switching on your trusty desktop suddenly looks riskier than putting Diane Abbott in charge of your QOF figures. In fact, how are you even reading this? Perhaps you found it on a random scrap of fax paper floating on the breeze through the post-cyberattack dystopia, or maybe Nigel Praities is relaying it in semaphore from the roof of Pulse Towers. (He’d do it, y’know. They don’t make you Editor of the Year for nothing.)
It’s weird to imagine an NHS without IT. Picture it for a moment: no blood results, no Docman, no inbox overflowing with chirpy round robin emails from the CCG. Just thinking about it makes me want to learn more about how to write and circulate ransomeware.
On the off chance your practice made it through the weekend, let me get straight to the futile part of this blog, in which I attempt to influence your voting intentions. It’s a matter of historic record that GPs tend to do better under Labour – think huge pay increases and investments in primary care versus the year-on-year income freezes and gradual descent into a bubbling lake of shite that passes for working in the NHS recently. It’s not as simple as that, though, because GPs are also high earners, who would be hit by a big tax increase if Labour got in. Unfortunately, we’re not quite “rich enough to benefit massively from a Tory government” rich; ironically, we’d probably need a few years of Labour pay rises before we ended up in that income bracket.
But of course it doesn’t matter what I say, because a) you’re not going to vote based on what I think and more saliently because b) Labour have decided to figurehead their shamelessly populist manifesto with a bumbling supply teacher who’s pure electorate Kryptonite. So all we can do is try and pick out the positives from the inevitable Theresa May landslide. I’ve got two words for you: Cabinet. Reshuffle. I can’t promise you a future without NHS IT, but a future without Jeremy Hunt in charge of it is a real possibility. Now who wouldn’t pay a ransom for that?
Dr Pete Deveson is a GP in Surrey. You can follow him on Twitter @PeteDeveson