Thursday, 11 February 2010

A couple of old chestnuts 002 - out of hours care.

We wonder here at ND Central where we have all been since the introduction of the new General Medical Services (nGMS) contract in 2004 as the well known intellectual news channel here in the UK, GMTV (known affectionately here as Gormless Morons’ TV), last week was trying to bluntly dissect why the out of hours service for General Practice is so bad.

It would appear that the reason that the out of hours’ service is so bad is “because of the doctors”.

A health minister who was wheeled in said more or less the same claiming that before the nGMS contract things were so much worse. In those bad old days you got to see a GP and it cost so much less. No-one stated the barn door obvious, least of all the little housewife friendly pixie of a Gormless Moron TV presenter, who did not know how to get out of hours care for his family. Instead he blamed the doctors.

Given that as a minimum he will be earning at least twice, possibly three times as much, as most average GPs earn for a fraction of the work and bugger all responsibility just for smiling sweetly it just shows how well “ability” is currently well rewarded by the Party.

Perhaps, as concerned General Practitioners, we should refer him to social services as a case of potential neglect of his children as he clearly, and publicly, does not know how to get medical help for his children out of hours? What would he do ring NHS (re)Direct to be told to see a GP or go to A&E?

Well Mr GMTV presenter why don’t you try to present the truth? Here are a few facts about out of hours care. We have written it very simply so that you, if you can read, or one of your researchers, can hopefully understand it as you struggled to hear what the doctor you interviewed was saying:

1) GPs are no longer responsible for out of hours care unless they decided to continue to do so after the introduction of the nGMS contract in 2004. Most did not.

2) The people who are responsible are the local Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) that used to be called Health Authorities.

3) If there is a problem with the out of hours services then GMTV should speak to someone from the PCTs. However, these are NHS managers and are in the same bottom third of Northernshire comprehensive schools that went and did media studies when we were younger. They will not be up before 09.00hrs unless, like you, they earn a huge wad for doing so.

4) The cost of providing out of hours care for your children was valued as £ 6,000 per GP per year to provide roughly the same number of hours cover per year. We doubt that would cover your cleaner’s, or even your childrens’ nursery bills per year let alone provide a qualified doctor for them, if you were bright enough to know how to ring your surgery in the early hours of the morning.

5) In order to opt out GPs took a pay cut of £6,000 a year for the privilege of letting PCTs provide the out of hours service on YOUR behalf as public servants.

So Mr GMTV presenter, or rather your researchers, get your facts correct. It is the likes of you and your fellow presenters that have contributed to the up surge in measles in this country for you can do so much more damage in 2 minutes of ill informed ignorant “journalism” that will damage patients’ health and takes years for us to repair.

Praise be to the Party for pointing out how bad out of hours care is and blaming it on the doctors. Remind us who devised, and agreed the system with the doctors as part of a “contract” that was voted for in a democratic election and accepted by the Party.

The Doctors have done their bit. Why oh why, has the Party and its organs failed so miserably with out of hours cover? Did they underestimate how much it cost to run and found the private sector to be so much cheaper and more efficient?

We suspect there may be an undercurrent here possibly giving out of hours back to GPs? It would only take a Party “consultation” and then they could alter the contract . . .

We might even be £6,000 richer with even more hours added to the working day for us and our staff.


Anonymous said...

To be fair, who is it that works in out of hours services if not 'doctors'? Earning £120 an hour too.

A New Kind of GP said...

Anonymous - I am a freelance GP and qualified to work as an out of hours GP. Would you be my agent if you can find me those posts earning £120 an hour?