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by Simon Carvell
28 January 2011

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Fears about reforms

GP Principal and partner
Worcester Street Surgery

Our surgery has seen an enormous change over the last few weeks.

Sadly after a long illness in which our senior partner demonstrated huge courage and a wonderful, inspirational approach to life and work, he passed away during December.

He had been a GP for nearly three decades and during that time he’d seen tremendous change. What he would’ve made of last weeks developments would probably have been less than favourable.

For a lay person the banner headline of Savings and efficiency seem per suave. Beneath this headline are however huge threats to our traditional NHS.

Perhaps changes are inevitable, probably reform in some manner is needed but the dismantling of two tiers of health care commissioning and managing with reorganisation into one will undoubtedly be increasingly seen as an opportunity by private health care companies.

To me this all seems to spell a slow erosion  of our National Health Service. Should Health Care be seen as a money making opportunity. I’ll put my hand up and say GPs are well paid, appropriately paid.

But my motivation and the motivation of the majority of GPs is not material, it’s providing help, support and the best level of health care to our population. This is a time of huge challenge to our population, unemployment is up, and uncertainty is rife.

It’s laughable that a Happiness Index is proposed to gauge the public’s sense of well being. It doesn’t take a proposed tool that will cost potentially £2 million to create. I would suggest a walk to any school playground and talk to the increasing number of School (run) Dads, now out of work.

I trained to be a Doctor, I can’t remember business studies after the pathology, communication skills and pharmacology lectures. Perhaps it’s placed in the timetable now.

Lecture 1, spreadsheets and salary, Lecture 2 tariffs and breach payments, Lecture 3 how to order flu vaccine stock! etc etc.

Many talk of ‘getting out’. Canada, Australia, learn a foreign language there will be a change in work force. Judging by experience of Walk in centres, there’ll be more reactive medicine, more antibiotics and less understanding.