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by Our GP partner in practice
7 May 2009

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Recession sees a surge in patients – and sleeplessness

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderlay again … if only! It’s been so busy lately it’s even affecting my sleep.

Rather than Manderlay, I had a recurring dream of being caught in an avalanche. My wife kindly interpreted the dream for me: it seems that I am “under the cosh” at work. Today I did five visits, surgeries were full, and extras numbered 35 at lunchtime. What’s going on?

I wonder if the general dissatisfaction with life in a recession is hitting the physical health of our practice population? I read that the government was thinking/planning to plough money into stress clinics. Why don’t they save that money and, rather than counsel people to death, be more proactive? Mind you, more counselling means more counsellors, so there’s at least one growth area.

Our latest registrar roared in recently – in the sense that he drives a Porsche with a personalised registration plate. What am I doing driving a Mitsubishi Grandis crammed to the rafters with child seats and discarded children’s shoes? At the very least I should have a Chelsea tractor. Though I’m not so sure that would require a personalised plate.

We’ve put an advert out for two new salaried positions. Interest has been slow. Perhaps it’s my blog with my endless moaning. But now I’m back from a holiday, I intend to turn over a new leaf. I need to.

My DIY adventures have continued at home and I need to earn money to repair my incompetence. The garden tap was dripping, now it’s pouring (post-intervention)! I mentioned my DIY skills to a patient once. I advised him that his cyst would be better removed by a skilled surgeon rather than a DIY failure. Remembering this, he returned the following day with a gift for me – the sharpest saw in the world! My wife has since hidden the saw from me (sensible woman), along with the drill and, more recently, the wrench.

At lunchtime, we presented the staff with 100% attendance with a bottle of wine. I was told to be careful with the way I phrased this award/reward. It was a “recognition of 100% attendance”, not a “reward”, as this would penalise the sick! People are expected to do their job, and so a reward is inappropriate.

I think there should be a sliding scale. Depending on levels of sickness, I am prepared to drink a quarter, then a half, of a bottle, and so forth, depending upon levels of sickness. So that the sick are not forgotten …