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Beware, Mr Trump

Dear Mr Trump, I get your sense of terror towards all those out groups like women, liberals, Mexicans, Muslims, Chinese (not Russians, oddly?), hordes from abroad… but they aren’t your biggest worry. You’ve made a great start on dismantling the hateful Obamacare.  OK, 20 miliion more Americans got health insurance, but it didn’t make much […]

Ballywalter dives into askmyGP

Ballywalter, population 2,027, lies on the Ards peninsula in Co Down.  Just smell the sea! In the first full week (from 16th January) 72 patients used askmyGP to get help from the 5,200 patient surgery.  That’s 20% shifting channel from telephone to online.  Since then it has risen closer to 30% and the effects are growing. […]

Dear Mrs May

I wrote last week to Mr Hunt and sat by the phone all weekend, but it appears ministers are not offering a proper out of hours response so I have little choice but to go direct to Emergency PMQs. Your headlines:  “a large number of surgeries are not providing proper out of hours care – […]

GP Dr Philip Lusty witnesses a miracle in Portadown

Dr Philip Lusty writes: “I’ve just witnessed a miracle and it happened in Portadown… Portadown, a large town in Northern Ireland has had significant negative publicity lately with the threatened closure of a neighbour general practice  leaving this month 5000 patients without a GP and potential list dispersal.   The stress and strain this has […]

Dear Mr Hunt

You told parliament yesterday that it was time for “an honest conversation with the public about their use of A&E“.  Are you up for one too, as Secretary of State? Unfortunately there is no evidence of honest conversations, cajoling, beating or any other persuasive endeavour having the slightest effect on patient behaviour in seeking healthcare. […]

NHS crisis and cognitive dissonance

So the Red Cross tells us there’s a humanitarian crisis in our NHS hospitals and ambulance services.  What reactions does that trigger in your mind? This is the same Red Cross which is helping those left alive flee the ruins of Aleppo, and in context I don’t know about you but I have a problem […]

Why I’m looking forward to 2017

Yesterday in deep frost the view from Great Mell Fell in Cumbria was blissful.  I hope your holiday had similar moments, and they will continue to inspire as we get to work in 2017. I’m optimistic about the year ahead as more and more GPs and their patients are seeing the benefits of a demand […]

Taking back control of your day

Dr Tom Black writes in GP Frontline December 2016 for RCGP Bright Ideas – pdf  here Find a summary article on the RCGP website.  

Christmas Peace Dividend

Method:  Telephone GP practice between 11am and midday today 23/12/16 and ask receptionist how busy they are, compared with an average Friday. Sample:  10 practices throughout UK, 6 England, 2 NI, 1 Scotland, 1 Wales, mix of urban/rural/socio-economic populations.  All operate a demand led system, GP telephone response, no pre-booked face to face appts. Results:  […]

They don’t want you to read this

3:30 on Tuesday a practice manager tells me, “I’ve got GPs wandering around, wondering what to do.  We’ve run out of patients”.  Me:  “Get them cleaning windows.”  It was day 2 of launch. Last week a receptionist at a practice 3 months in told me “it’s really quiet today” – we often hear the same, […]