Views

When General Practice no longer exists…

When General Practice no longer exists, and your child has Long Covid, will you take them to the offices of the Daily Mail instead? Where do I begin?  Tuesday, and the conclusion by House of Commons’ Committees that the Government’s pandemic response was one of ‘the most important public health failures the United Kingdom has ever experienced’; ministers viewing the crisis through ‘a veil of ignorance’.  This week has seen the number of new cases of Covid in England approach 50,000 a day. Despite vaccinations, this heralds many thousands of people each day going on to suffer Long Covid and will lead to 200+ Covid deaths a day amongst the

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Tumbleweed sighted in the Surgery

Tumbleweed sighted in the Surgery ‘Confirmation bias’ is the tendency to search for, interpret and favour evidence to support one’s pre-existing beliefs. It has been brought to the attention of your PPG that when it might take three weeks to book a routine GP appointment, there are times when our waiting room looks somewhat empty of patients. Why might that be? Long gone are the days when your GP did nothing but see patients. Health care has become more complex and more demanding. There is evidence that doctors consulting patients for more than seven half-day sessions each week are prone to burn out. I frequently work an eleven hour day,

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Sore Throat

Sore Throat I have become complacent in thinking that only elected politicians and their lickspittles undermine GP services.  This week I was reminded that doctors are sometimes their own worst enemies. A big ‘thank you’ to Flemish researchers and their study of the treatment of sore throats, published in the British Medical Journal. I fear it will be in the health pages of the Daily Wail before you read this. The authors – in their own words – offered the ‘weak recommendation’ of prescribing a single dose of steroid to patients with a sore throat. This made the pain go away a whole 11 hours sooner, but didn’t reduce time

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Computer Virus Hack

Computer Virus/Hack – 16 May 2017 When the Care Quality Commission visited Spilsby in November 2016, their Lead Inspector complimented us on our website that sought to explain transparently how the NHS works and how it sometimes struggles. This is our take on the NHS cyber-attack debacle. GP computers are owned by the NHS and the Windows operating system is managed by the NHS. On Friday afternoon, Lincolnshire CCGs rang all 100 Lincolnshire GP practices and told them to shut their computers down immediately. We were informed that our secure ‘N3’ internet link had been compromised. This, thank fully turned out to be incorrect. The ‘malware’ affected both healthcare and

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There isn’t enough general practice to go around

There isn’t enough general practice to go around The British Red Cross charity rightly reports NHS hospitals and ambulance services are in a state of ‘humanitarian crisis’. At the same time, the chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners voiced concerns that urgent care – often of minor illness – threatens the care of patients with serious long-term conditions. ‘Something has to give’ she concluded. Next we heard Theresa May blame GPs. She said the reason hospitals aren’t coping is because GPs aren’t open seven days a week and just aren’t working hard enough. This is demonstrably not true. A few months ago we received a letter from Victoria

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0844 Telephone Numbers

0844 Telephone Numbers Facts In the past, many GP practices upgraded their phone systems with providers who used 0844 numbers. The systems provided new capacity and functions to improve patient care, but at an extra cost to callers. Six years ago the Department of Health asked GP practices to review these arrangements for patients calling from landlines, and Spilsby Surgery duly did so. It would have cost the practice at least £60000 to break our contract – £60k less to spend on patient care. It would also have reduced the capacity of our phone system – more patients would have met an engaged tone at busy times. Our staff might

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KEEP TAKING THE TABLOIDS

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

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SEVEN DAY OPENING

Seven Day Opening You may have been invited to complete the national postal General Practice Patient Survey. In 2014, some 880 000 patients did. At a time when the Department of Health is championing 7 day opening in the NHS, the GPPS asked patients for its views on primary care availability. An analysis of the results, published in the British Journal of General Practice, make interesting reading.The research authors found that over 80% of respondents had no problems with existing primary care opening times. 15% of the total participants thought Saturday availability would help them. Less than 1% of the 880 000 patients had a strong preference for Sunday opening.

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Junior Doctors and You

Junior Doctors and You You may have noticed that General Practice has an image problem. And a recruitment problem. The national picture is worse in the East Midlands. The East Midlands problem is worst in Lincolnshire. Only 15 out of 37 GP training posts were filled in Lincolnshire this year. So Spilsby is very fortunate at this moment to have a full complement of GPs and GP Registrars. Many of you will be familiar with our Registrar Dr Divya Kuttappan, and we look forward to being joined in December 2015 by Registrar Dr Liz Marchant. Dr Kieran Sharrock, when he’s not at Spilsby Surgery, is Medical Director for Lincolnshire Local

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