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by Our manager in practice
18 June 2009

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Why I’m conditioned to be worried by the hot weather

Summer certainly seems to have arrived – in my neck of the woods we have been enjoying some glorious weather.

I am trying to keep low, though, and avoid the inevitable “don’t you think we should install air conditioning?” This is an annual discussion in one of the two practices I manage! Time and again we have discussed it, priced it and listed the pros (feeling cooler) and cons (too cold, too costly and won’t work properly as no one will keep the windows and doors closed).

And we’ve always decided against installing. The last couple of years I have refused to (re)discuss this, but if it is going to be a good summer I can see I will have difficulty avoiding the issue. As a holding measure I’d better ensure all the fans are located and working …

We are still waiting, as I suspect most are, for the QOF reward income. I seem to fend off daily requests from partners (usually those about to go on holiday) as to when they will get some “extra” dosh.

We work to a system of regular amounts being paid to partners each month and then “top ups” in months when we have any extra – after we have squirrelled some away for rainy days of course (another bone of contention for those who would like to have it all now)! Hopefully the end of June should produce much long-awaited income – certainly in our area of the country, where several payments from the PCT are overdue.

We have at last heard about several LESs that will continue for this year, so the budget now looks far healthier and we can turn to making decisions about staff pay increases – or not. A few more difficult conversations to be had in each practice, I think!

We have all our planning in place for pandemic flu – have followed all the guidelines etc – only to be faced with some confusion from the PCT, who don’t seem to be following their own guidelines.

We have tested our first suspected cases in both practices over the last week (negative so far), which has brought us our first taste of how well the processes will work. I think that, even with all the planning, many decisions will have to be taken “on the hoof” as things develop.

Anyway, roll on the holidays. Let’s hope the sun lasts for mine – and yours. Now, where did we store those fans last year …