Mr Hunt out of touch? Pulse editor describes the Minister’s ignorance…

The editor of Pulse magazine , Nigel Praities opines – Wednesday 14th October 2015 (with apologies for full copy, but the Health Service is too important):

It was just a throw-away comment, but it has generated a lot of heat on the Pulse website.

Speaking at a fringe session at the Conservative Party Conference 2015 on Monday, Jeremy Hunt told a meeting that Silicon Valley tech ‘gurus’ were confident that in 20 years ‘no doctor will ever give a diagnosis’.

His predictions of medical obsolesce went down as you would expect (over 100 comments on the story and counting), because – as Copperfield points out – it reveals a profound misunderstanding about what GPs do.

Dealing with people who are – or who think they are – ill cannot be done by protocol or machine (just look at NHS 111), but by reasoning, knowledge and carefully picking away at the layers of trivial information to get at the heart of the problem.

And it is this ignorance of what GPs do that is so dangerous. It explains the increasing implication that physician assistants or pharmacists can plug the gaps left by the missing 5,000 GPs. And it is the only reason for the commissioning of those terrible skydiving GP recruitment videos by Health Education England.

In short, it is only when our leaders truly understand how GP’s actually diagnose and treat their patients will they actually be able to help the profession get out of the crisis they have tipped it into.

A sobering thought.

Best wishes,

Nigel Praities
If our diagnostic skills become obsolete, I’ll eat my hoverboard – Copperfield comments

This entry was posted in A Personal View, General Practitioners, Political Representatives and activists, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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