KEEP TAKING THE TABLOIDS
Are GPs in Lincolnshire less competent than their colleagues in the rest of the country? Probably not – though we declare a conflict of interest in making this assertion. Is Lincolnshire short of GPs? Undoubtedly there are problems attracting doctors in speciality training to the East Midlands, and retaining them once they are fully qualified GPs. If you can’t recruit enough GPs you’ll struggle to see one, delaying diagnosis of serious illness. Those of us who remain can’t work any harder without risking patient safety in other ways. That’s the story behind the headline. It’s a problem that Lincolnshire Local Medical Committee is trying hard to address, with some early success for patients and GP practices. However we need more resourcing from NHS England, and less blame from the Government and sections of the media.
The job title of doctors’ receptionist has probably been obsolete since Janet was housekeeper and receptionist to Dr Findlay. If you can come up with a new one for the complex and busy job they do in 2016 please let us know. Like many GP practices in the UK, Spilsby Surgery operates a tested and trusted version of ‘Doctor First’ management of both urgent care and problems you worry need addressing before the next available routine appointment. At busy times of the day, our duty nurse or doctor may have more than a dozen telephone calls pending. How do we know who needs to receive a call first? Who might be having a heart attack? Who might have stubbed a toe? Answer: you need to give a little information to our trained ‘care co-ordinators’. You wouldn’t ring 999 and insist on only speaking to a police officer. You don’t go to a restaurant and demand it’s the chef who takes your order! And whilst we’re on the subject, ‘It’s personal’ is synonymous with sticky genitals – you’ve immediately gone to the end of the queue. Please help us to help you, and make an imperfect world work a little better.