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A comprehensive survey designed to collect data on workload hasn’t been completed because GPs have been too busy to complete it.
’On the day of the survey I got up at 6am’, explains one GP. ’I saw 40 patients, made six house-calls and did a tonne of paperwork. Eighteen hours later I got home and slid my post-work corpse into bed. By the time I remembered to do the survey it was too late*, sorry!’
’That’s nothing,’ says a Croydon based GP. ’I work up at 4 in the morning, saw 60 patients, triaged another hundred and worked through 10 kilos of paperwork. After having a wash in the sink I tried to do the survey but fell asleep with my head on the keyboard.’
Another GP, who only scraped through his appraisal this year said: ’Half way through the day I started to lose my mind. The image of my long forgotten family unfurled before me and then closed up like a dead flower. As I fell deeper in to the murky labyrinth of yet another duty day I knew I wouldn’t have time to go to the toilet let alone fill out a questionnaire. Besides, can the tyranny of working in general practice really be captured by a bar chart?’
The only doctors who were able to complete the survey were Australian, who have 15 to 20 minutes per patient, no house calls, no telephone triage and if a patient wants a repeat prescription they make an appointment. Lucky bastards!
Editor’s note: It’s not too late (indeed, it hasn’t yet opened…)