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by Our GP partner in practice
12 December 2007

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Merry Christmas or merry-go-round?

I’m beginning to get paranoid. The merry-go-round of staff is picking up speed. I liken our surgery to a championship football club, training up staff (viz players), before they transfer off to a larger club with more money.

Unfortunately, unlike football, we don’t receive a transfer fee. Perhaps we should insert a loyalty clause in our new staff contracts.

Our new document management system is still causing some consternation. My main concern is that I’m away next week and I’ve got to work out how I can return without finding hundreds (I exaggerate – tens) of unread letters in my inbox.

Partying late
The surgery Christmas party is getting closer – but not too close. Here’s where I start to sound like Scrooge … it’s held after Christmas. The reason for this is that traditionally we’re all so depressed by credit card bills after Christmas – so along comes the January Christmas party to cheer us all up!

The venue is the same as last year. We operate a rotation policy – stay too long in one place and we either get blacklisted or poisoned!

We do have an inhouse Christmas celebration, just to prove we’re not complete killjoys. The local butcher supplies us with a cooked turkey and a side of pork, and everyone gets a bap!

The dissatisfaction last year centred on the fact that there was only enough for one bap each! In these days of obesity, can’t we claim the moral high ground with our one-bap policy? I’m not sure what we offer vegetarians. I think it’s just the bap.

Once, as a trainee in one of my pre-partnership practices, the Christmas party was held in June. That seemed to stretch the season of goodwill to breaking point.

After the Christmas party we have a team building/breaking exercise planned. Paintballing! I’m not sure how well this was received by staff. I must admit it wasn’t my choice. I was all for basket weaving, with Radio 4 playing in the background – my chronological age of 36 betrays my true 86 years!

Splitting surgery
At Christmas, our surgery divides into two with regards to the GPs – we split the Christmas and New Year into two weeks. Group A does “the Christmas week” and Group B “the New Year week”. This means chaos for appointments – we are planning an unbooked catch-up week in January.

I’m away next week – each year there’s a mad panic to use up annual leave entitlement among the doctors, and it gets almost to the point of an hour off here and there. I’m hardly the most organised but I do prioritise, so make sure holidays are booked by the year end for next year.

Stroll on Easter …