Now like all busy working people that politicians of all Parties repeatedly refer to as their target audience the team at ND Central on a typical Friday morning at 09.30 were like most GPs in the UK idly waiting for the weather as they sat drinking G&Ts at the local golf club and were busily listening to the New “Deal” from none other than Jeremy Hunt the current Secretary for Health.
There are numerous sources whereby you can watch this man without a clue try here forlive action or here for text but after a busy night at the Café Michelle the team thought as we did a few years ago with the White Paper we would dissect his words into reality.
So in summary Jeremy thinks that general practice is a jewel, presumably a rhinestone one, given his previous comments that he thought he could buff up with a few kind words. That was the first part of the speech.
He went one to acknowledge how much of healthcare is done in General Practice and that (new) deals have 2 parties and that this was not a deal he can deliver on his own. Quite right Mr Hunt you just expect general practice to do all the work for you and for nothing.
He quoted some figures that he had quoted earlier that morning on both main terrestrial TV channels (BBC and ITV) about 1500 extra GPs created in the last 5 years but this time he said that these GPs who were working or in training. We bet every training practice in the land was relived to know that they have had overnight an extra GP or two.
Addressing the recruitment issue he said he intends to leave no stone unturned. Well we hope he starts with the trail of pebbles he has left behind him when denigrating general practice over the last five years for his idea to increase training places is no good if no one wants to train as a GP and Jeremy can’t fill them all now.
His thoughts on coaxing GPs back from retirement and encouraging them to work longer are priceless as over the years the team have spoken to many retired GPs who thought they might work part time but very quickly realized how much they hated the job. The removal of seniority payments is another sure fire winner here Jeremy for stopping GPs from retiring early.
Jeremy then moved on to what he really, really, really wants namely 7 day working for “it is about making sure precious hospital capacity is kept clear for those who really need it.” Of course Jeremy and this fits what you have said before that it is the idle GPs that clog up A&E departments so making them work longer will really help keep NHS costs down especially if you don’t pay them to work for 7 days as there was a distinct lack of funding mentioned in your words of wisdom.
Only the promise of extra staff sometime in the future and it is nice to know that the media your team must have briefed before your keynote speech think it only takes 7 years to train a GP. So 5-6 years in medical school, 2 years as a foundation doctor and 3 years VTS equals 7.
Bureaucracy and burnout is one of the headings and Jeremy’s first cuddly sentence reads “The final area where we need a new deal is not about money or premises or workforce or assessments . . . but about you.” Ahhh. You are quite right Jeremy the new deal is not about the above for you have only definitely committed anything to one of the above namely to the premises.
He goes on to say he has asked NHS England to reduce the bureaucractic burden on general practice which is as reassuring to GPs as asking FIFA to investigate corruption for NHS England exists merely to be a burocracy. We don’t think the turkeys will be voting for Christmas as that might cost them their jobs.
And so to the summing up where Jeremy promises GPs more work but with little if any extra resource only the promise of something at some point in a galaxy far far away the Jeremy Nebulasphere a land full of much mist but nothing very solid.
He uses the word empower (perhaps a misspelling of impose?) to start 3 paragraphs which deal with issues like “social prescribing”, “public health” and “taking clinical responsibility”. Clearly Jeremy missed his vocational trainng scheme sessions on these issues for all of these believe it or not are part of and have been part of general practice training for decades and are still being taught today to those not discouraged from being GPs by politicians.
The last paragraph is a corker “Everyone needs to know where the buck stops for their care - and most people would like that to be their family doctor. I want to empower you so that aspiration - treasured as much by doctors as by patients - finally becomes a reality”.
How nice so the Secretary of State no longer has the buck stopping with him? He can just dump and run just like patients.
Praise be to the Party for once again
empowering imposing more work and
promising bread today and jam tomorrow for general practice. Wish we had done a
PPE at Oxford so we could see the world as clearly as Jeremy does. Must be one of those vision things that only a select few see clearly.