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by Our GP partner in practice
3 June 2008

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Returning to find LES, DES and a mysterious black bag

I have returned after an absence. I think I needed 40 days and 40 nights to digest the recent dismantling of the NHS!

All I’ve heard lately is “LES and DES” – we’ve been negotiating a LES with our local PCT, which will, I understand, be in place until someone decides to make things more complicated.

Suffice to say, I will be doing my first extended hours surgery next week, from 6.30pm till 8pm. I can only hope the last patient doesn’t expect me to stand up after 11 hours of consulting. We’ve struggled to jolly our salaried doctors into joining the extended hours rota – I wonder how other practices have fared?

The rollercoaster that is our application for a new build is dragging again. We get close to a state of semi-elation, and even permit ourselves an evening of room datasheets analysis, only then to have our hopes dashed on the rocks of despair by the 14th proviso/hoop to be jumped through by the PCT. I suppose if we named our building Darzi-land, we might get there a little quicker.

Although we haven’t lost many staff to Aldi lately, we’ve unfortunately had a bad spell of sickness. One of our number has a broken toe, which apparently needs three weeks to knit. I wonder whether I can claim retrospective sick leave with my fractured arm and little finger? I wonder how many days off are merited with a bad spell of sunburn?

In July, I’ve volunteered to organise, with our practice manager (if she’s reading), an away day for receptionists. I have a worrying urge to “do some scenarios”. This may have been precipitated by 12 telephone interruptions to my morning surgery. The saddest aspect of this was that I counted the interruptions, and started to get excited when I hit double figures!

We have had some light relief, although it’s quite bizarre. A black bag was found in the car park, with a number of (presumably) stolen toilet rolls and a (clean) pair of trousers. Needless to say, the police were called. Sadly, there is no punch line.

The fridge in our meeting room has become rather offensive while I was away. A large fish was found, slowly degrading. I must admit it’s sometimes hard to know what to do with patient gifts.

There are more meetings to look forward to! First with the local stroke team, to discuss stroke pathways. This may at first glance seem dull, but it fits with our new atrial fibrillation pathway, and if it’s as informative as our orthopaedic night it will improve our practice.

We are embracing Choose and Book again. I’m not sure why. There’s no great enthusiasm, and to me the system seems slow.

So I think it’s time to go and twist my ankle. That should get me at least two weeks off work.