Tuesday, 5 February 2008


Today has been a rather pleasant day. Both my surgeries were relatively light, and most people came with simple problems that I could deal with easily. I explored their beliefs, addressed their concerns, and got them out of the door within twelve minutes. So I ran almost exactly to time. Usually what happens is that I see large numbers of patients with complex problems requiring review and assessment, get hopelessly bogged down, and run late.

One charming lady brought me a box of Ferrero Rocher, as she does every year when she comes for review. To be honest they are not my favourite chocolates, but they are always given with such kind-hearted gratitude that it is a delight to receive them.

And a young man whom I saw a little after 6pm spontaneously said that he had no trouble getting appointments to suit him, and thought that the Government was wrong to insist on GPs consulting late into the evening. An even more welcome gift.

I am trying not to think too much about the Government at the moment, as it is bad for my blood pressure. Because the extra money offered by Alan Johnson will not cover the rise in expenses next year (particularly as we will have to pay staff to work extra unsocial hours), his proposal amounts to a pay cut for the third year running - provided that we consult for several extra hours each week in the evenings or at weekends. And if we don't accept this generous offer the Government will use special powers, intended for use at times of national emergency, to impose an enormous pay cut - which I estimate would be at least 13% in my case. You can tell how much the Government appreciate us, and cherish and value us as key workers in the National Health Service.


Anonymous said...

You saw someone at after 6pm? Now that would be a luxury - the last appointment at our (otherwise excellent) practice is 5.20. Anyone who works outwith our town has to take time off to go to the doctor. One "late till 8" a week would do fine - reserved for people who work until after 5 and need a non-urgent consultation. Not for the pensioners who used to take all the appointments before 9 or the unemployed or the housepersons who can rearrange their day easily. Charge a small amount for them if you like. Then my daughter won't get in bother all ways because she didn't get her asthma check done (as long as she has the medication she is well controlled and doesn't need the check with the nurse but eventually the repeat prescription runs out!).
Keep up the blog - looking forward to retirement is comforting. You could then continue to blog from deepest France or wherever!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about the chocs (and of course, the extra unsocial hours!) - perhaps if you kept an empty box of your favourite chocs permanently in view somewhere, that lovely lady might get the hint!


Dr Andrew Brown said...

Anonymous: thanks for your kind remarks.

Steph: I've nearly finished the Ferrero Rocher now, and I've got quite fond of them. :-)