Teetering on the edge? Living with uncertainty… something consultants are never trained for.. General practice is not a retirement home for hospital physicians

I retired because I needed to. It was after nearly 40 years at the coal face I was tired out. The constant box ticking and performance assessment is fine for a short period,  but PRP has a limited effective timespan. (Brand Denial, death, bribery and corruption.) Now, three years after retirement and stopping my insurance and GMC registration, I would have to be completely re-trained, and all 40 years experience would be as naught… In addition it would cost me so much in insurance liability that part time would not be a reasonable option. I was an efficient teacher, resource distributer and gatekeeper, but would I be now? I was used to living with uncertainty… something consultants, with immediate access to technology, are never trained for.. Are we going to licence them before the retired GP? Slow the fall with private medical insurance… Complex systems implode suddenly..

He took out private health insurance!

Copperfield opines in Pulse 4th November 2015: General practice is not a retirement home for hospital physicians

Teetering? Literally on the edge? This might tip you over. In which case, sorry.

According to Professor Ian Cumming 4th November (HEE Chief Executive makes request to Health Committee) , chief executive of Health Education England, it would be a really great idea for senior hospital physicians nearing retirement who can’t ‘cope any longer’ with the rigours of hospital medicine to step into general practice to help out.

To quote him, ‘In my personal opinion, that individual, if we could keep them and use them in primary care, would be an absolutely invaluable resource to a big practice. They could work on a much more structured basis, Monday to Friday, nine to five.’

Professor Cumming should be congratulated. Not for his skills in thinking outside the box, but for his ability to go from zero to outrageously insulting within the space of two sentences. That’s a masterstroke of brevity, and for those not quite clear why the average GP is now printing images of the professor to gob on, here’s a brief explanation of what he appears to be saying:

1. Hospital physicians, even knackered ones, could step into a GP practice and function without any problem – GPs aren’t very bright to begin with, so the clapped-out physicians would fit in just fine.

2. They wouldn’t need any special training because, as we all know, general practice isn’t a real specialty.

3. General practice will be quite happy to act as a quasi retirement home for clapped out physicians because, although their work isn’t important, there is a lot of it – so new personnel are always welcome, even if they drool a bit.

4. GPs clock in at nine, clock off at five and gave up weekend work long ago. That’s why they’re not as tired as proper doctors.

The only thing that stopped me literally vomiting my lunch over the Pulse website was something else the Professor said. Specifically, that the increase in the number of GP trainees applying for this year’s third GP training recruitment round might be attributable to the ‘controversial’ marketing campaign Health Education England is running. You remember, the video where we sell the profession to eager young recruits on the basis of our ability to sign a ‘Fit to skydive’ form and then forget to charge a fee.

It could be that, professor, couldn’t it? But it isn’t. I’m certain of that. What I’m less certain of is where knackered, deranged chief executives get put out to grass. Anyway, you’re welcome at my practice. Oh, actually, you’re not.

Dr Tony Copperfield is a GP in Essex. You can follow him on Twitter @DocCopperfield

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Rationing by chaos is cruel..

Brand Denial, death, bribery and corruption.

It was the best job in the world – for me 1979-2012 – but now there are not enough of us to cover the country

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Its not the doctors pushing the UK Health services over the edge..

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This entry was posted in A Personal View, Consultants, General Practitioners, Rationing, 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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