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Soap Box

Appraisals: how do we assure safety without asphyxiation?

by Dr David Zigmond FDA Founder Member & GP London

Appraisals: how do we assure safety without asphyxiation?  ‘We can’t carry on like this!’ is now a familiar cry of impotent frustration throughout Welfare services. Clearly we need challenges to our dysfunctional order. Yet our officials’ responses are often redolent of the last gasps of Empire: draconian authority with officious nervousness. What is happening?  This example – of General Practitioner Appraisals – is a telling microcosm. ‘Men reform a thing by removing reality from it, and then do not know what to do with the unreality that is left.’ GK Chesterton, Generally Speaking (1928)   The professional staff of our Welfare services – those concerned with our health, education and vulnerable care – have growing occupational malaise, disaffection and stress. These are less related to the volume of work and more about the changed ethos. And here is a conundrum: for these changes are consequent to recent...

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Federating – a changing scene

by Andrew Lockhart-Mirams, Senior Partner Lockharts Solicitors

About 3 years ago, we had what might be described as the first wave of federating. It was quite clear that in order to meet the challenges posed by the Health and Social Care Act 2012, practices were ...

Top tips for GP practice on surviving the General Election

by Moira Auchterlonie CEO Family Doctor Association

OR the Four P's that matter during the election silly season Purdah. On the 30th March, Parliament was dissolved; there will be no new policy announcements until after the election results.  In ...

GPs have a duty to help needy patients get benefits – the contrary view.

by Dr Peter Swinyard The Phoenix Surgery Swindon Wiltshie

GPs have a duty to help needy patients get benefits – the contrary view. If only I had a pound for every time someone in authority said “GPs are ideally placed to….” –...

Smarter Access - a GP experiment!

by Dr Umar Tahir Moss Side Family Medical Practice

Smarter Access - a GP experiment! The demands on general practice are ever increasing. Both the patient body and the government are demanding greater access, but at what cost? Are the proposed change...

All is Therapy; All is Diagnosis Unmapped and perishing latitudes of healthcare

by Dr David Zigmond

Advances in medical science have steadily made biomechanical diagnoses and treatments more precise and effective. But this has been achieved, often, by a narrowing of focus so that much human contex...

Language is not just data: it is a custodian of our humanity

by Dr David Zigmond

 Computers and informatics have become central to NHS healthcare. All experience and activity are now subject to official technical designations. This changes our communications: language becomes...

Hello, Health Commissioner. Goodbye, Family Doctor?

by Dr David Zigmond

The idea, now diktat, that GPs should lead the complex provision of healthcare for localities may subtract more than it adds to overall health-welfare. How and why could this happen?  ‘Sim...

A&E: the perfect storm.

by Dr Michael Taylor

 If as Mephistopheles I wanted to destroy the British NHS there are five things I would do, gradually, incrementally, imperceptibly. I would make more people il,l or think they are ill, by med...

How to engage GPs in the clinically led future and why my PCT Chief commissioning Executive never saw GPs.

by Dr Michael Taylor

The past neglect. My last PCT Chief Executive has now been promoted to a bigger better job in Wales; Trevor never saw his GPs. I did an audit of the number of GPs who had signed the visitors book a...

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