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by Our GP partner in practice
15 February 2010

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QOF “Death Star” in revolution as the practice team gets ever younger

I have turned over a new leaf: our recent practice away day, involving a walk around the haunted city, was an eye-opening, positive and, through gritted teeth I will say, enjoyable experience.

We have positive news of our proposed new surgery. Despite the protests of all the animal welfare groups there has dawned a realisation that the derelict building will fall down unless it gets converted to a sympathetically restored GP surgery.

This means we are now at half-time, rather than back in the changing rooms under floodlight failure, to use a footballing analogy. We await the ultimate judgement of the PCT.

New GP registrars are bringing with them the vitality of youth. I’m beginning to sound almost evangelical. Once people said to me, ‘You’re too young to be a doctor’; but these new registrars look too young to be out of school, let alone doctors.

I find myself reeling out anecdotes of my youth to them. Soon I will be 40 and, with that milestone, I imagine I will fall into one long trip down memory lane, regaling anyone who will listen with my experience. I will become the amoeba of time, sucking precious minutes from anyone who will listen …

On another note, we are auditing our referrals. Since our away day, we have all been designated operations. Having done a mini-audit of my own referrals earlier this year, it’s interesting to review our high referral rates across the board inhouse, before the PCT takes a stick to us.

Our community nursing team (I use the word “our” here loosely, as the community nurse team is autonomous) is mobilising. The PCT is dividing/carving up community contracts, and the nursing team sees an opportunity to bid and then provide community nursing to our cluster.

It’s exciting to see the initiative – whether the PCT can cope with such innovation remains to be seen. The team is motivated, trustworthy and widely respected in the local area. I’m sure these qualities stand them in good stead. Hmm, perhaps I’m being naïve?

Our QOF targets are again stretching us. The time of reckoning is fast approaching, and our templates are still in the Death Star stage. Another analogy, but hopefully false as the Death Star in Star Wars was never completed. Our QOF templates are in evolution – some say revolution – as we argue the best course and it all turns another circle.

We have only about 400 swine flu immunisations left to do before the PCT takes over responsibility. With local uptake at 40%, I’m afraid that even with the offer of a year’s supply of Tamiflu, the offer was not attractive enough for us to continue … cough on!

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“Excuse me, those of us who are approaching 60 still have a bit of life left in us, 40 is still a spring chicken in my book!” – Name and address withheld